by Kim Hyeong-Yong,
KSCF Chairperson of SKK University SCA
I met women workers in a garment factory in Dhaka Bangladesh during the WSCF AP Human Rights Workshop's exposure program in July 2009. They were facing similar situations with those of Korean women in the 1970's. They were not receiving salaries commensurate with their long hours of working, and sometimes they are sexually assaulted by managers in the factory.
By the way, a very surprising fact I discovered during this visit is that violence toward women garment-workers was a prevalent practice among Korean-owned factories and similar situations exist today among Bangladeshi women workers. Before I joined this program, I was upset about violence done to the minorities in Korea. However, now I realize that Korean are using violence toward other people in foreign countries.
From this experience, I formed an identity in my mind not only as a Korean, but as a human being in this world. The anger I felt after realizing the human rights situation in Bangladesh was transformed into hope when I shared several topics with the other participants in the Human Rights Workshop.
All of my friends in the program have social problems in each of their own country. They seemed to be concerned about both the problem we saw and experience in Bangladesh and their country's problem. During the workshop, we shared those thoughts and concerns in small groups for some time. At first I expected that I might learn something big and special in the lectures, but actually it was during the small but previous sharing time that I learned a great deal from. I realized that we all shared small things of our lives and of our countries, most participants felt that they did not care much about this world before coming to the program. If we grow up caring about this world, several values we shared will become enormous.
Eventually, I strongly believe these can be big power to resolve a lot of human rights problems in this world.