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State panel begins probe into alleged rights violations of overseas Korean adoptees

All News 15:03 December 08, 2022

SEOUL, Dec. 8 (Yonhap) -- Over 30 cases of alleged human rights violations suffered by South Korean adoptees sent abroad decades ago have come under an investigation, a state truth panel said Thursday.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission said it decided earlier this week to start an investigation into 34 cases of alleged human rights infringement of children in their overseas adoption processes between the 1960s and 1990s.

The commission suspects that the human rights of some overseas Korean adoptees were violated through illegal acts, such as kidnapping or document manipulation, during their adoption process.

It has been confirmed that a child was recorded as an "orphan" in their adoption document even though they had parents, while another child was adopted under someone else's identity, the panel said.

One adoptee sent to Denmark was given information about their birth family from an adoption agency and learned that their adoption information was manipulated due to a DNA mismatch.

In another case, a child was presumably kidnapped and sent to a local shelter before contracting polio and being adopted to a foreign country.

Those suspicions were raised as 51 members of the Danish Korean Rights Group (DKRG) composed of Korean adoptees asked the state truth panel on Aug. 23 to find truth about their alleged human rights violations.

It was the first time that overseas Korean adoptees have requested an investigation by domestic authorities.

The DKRG has additionally submitted alleged rights violation cases of 226 adoptees living in the United States, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Germany and other countries.

Peter Moller (C), co-head of the Danish Korean Rights Group, and South Korean adoptee activists pose with an application for an investigation into alleged rights violations of overseas adoptees at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Seoul on Nov. 15, 2022. (Yonhap)

Peter Moller (C), co-head of the Danish Korean Rights Group, and South Korean adoptee activists pose with an application for an investigation into alleged rights violations of overseas adoptees at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Seoul on Nov. 15, 2022. (Yonhap)

ycm@yna.co.kr
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