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May Events

The 2019 Gwangju Asia Forum
The 2019 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Award Ceremony

SUBJECT Genocide and Refugees: State Violence and State Responsibility to Protect Its People
 DATE May 18 ~ May 20, 2019
VENUE The May 18 Memorial Culture Center, The May 18 Memorial Foundation, The May 18 National Cemetery
ORGANIZER The May 18 Memorial Foundation
CO-ORGANIZERS Korea Refugee Rights Network, Asia Democracy Network
  • Truth-finding for the May 18 Democratic Uprising
  • Refugees: Beyond Discrimination and Hatred
  • Unfinished Mission: Righting Past Injustice: Outcomes and Prospects
FOLLOW-UP PROGRAMS Press Conference, Lobby to Relevant Government Institutions (Ministry of Justice, National Assembly)
The May 18 Memorial Foundation will hold the 2019 Gwangju Asia Forum between May 18 and 20, 2019 in celebration of the 39th anniversary of the May 18 Democratic Uprising. Under the title of “Genocide and Refugees – State Violence and State Responsibility to Protect Its People” solutions for the related problems will be sought. The Forum will be divided into three thematic sessions as below.

Theme 1: Genocide and Truth- finding for May 18 Democratic Uprising

In this session May 18 fact-finding process will be dealt with in full scale. After 38 years has passed since the May 18 Democratic Uprising in 1980, its truth is still obscure. And the May 18 Special Law has yet failed to garner enough results. With this as a point of departure, participants will discuss themes, “Why truth unveiling is necessary?” and “What needs to be obtained from the truth unveiling process?” and analyze the May 18 Uprising’s fact-finding process and its limits during the transitional period and look for tasks that has been left out during the process.

Theme 2: Refugees: Beyond Discrimination and Hatred

This session will be held under the theme of “Refugees: Beyond Discrimination and Hatred” from the premise that the refugee crisis can be ascribed to state violence. Today, refugee matters are closely related with state violence and conflicts between state parties as shown in Syria and Rohingya. International communities, such as the UN, actively collaborate in dealing with this issue while each concerned nation lags in taking action. To make matters worse, anti-refugee sentiment is gradually growing as refugee numbers are swelling. The May 18 Memorial Foundation acknowledges that nations should assume the strongest responsibility in protecting its people from falling into refugee status and losing their rights and thus should seek for solutions beyond discrimination and hatred in order to bring about coexistence.

Theme 3: Unfinished Mission- righting Past Injustice: Outcomes and Prospects

This session which comprises two sub-sessions is about “Unfinished Mission – Righting Past Injustice: It Outcomes and Prospects” under which the results and limits of the state-run projects in dealing with past unjust activities in Korea, Holocaust, Indonesia, and Argentina as well as future prospects will be scrutinized. Upon agreeing that development of democracy will be impaired if a state fails to right its past wrongdoings, participants will review past cases of state violence and suggest future-oriented resolutions.


Date / Time Event
  Arrival & Registration                                                                                                                          (Reception Hall)
Preparatory Meetings (Organizers/Volunteers/Moderators) East Asia Network Annual Meeting
Dinner & May 18 Eve Celebration / Geumnam Avenue
Attending May 18 National Memorial Services / The May 518 National Cemetery
Welcoming Lunch / Reception Hall
Gwangju Asia Forum Opening Ceremony / Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Award Ceremony                                                (Minjoo Hall)
  • Celebratory Performances / May Pine Choir
  • Opening Announcement and Welcoming Speech / Chairman / The May 18 Memorial Foundation
  • 2019 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Awardees Announcement / Chair / 2019 GPHR Jury Committee
  • Awarding of Prizes
  • Laureates Accepting Speeches / Awardees of the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights and Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Special Prize
  • Celebratory Performances / Africa Band / Kang Heo-dal-lim
  • Congratulatory Speech 1: Mr. Lee Yong-seop / Mayor of Gwangju City
  • Congratulatory Speech 2: Mr. Anzai Ikuro / Professor Emeritus / Ritsumeikan University
  • Introduction of the Forum Schedule
SessionⅠ                                                                                                                    (Minjoo Hall)
Opening Plenary Session
  • Chairperson: Mr. Cho Jin-tae
    Executive Director / The May 18 Memorial Foundation
  • Keynote Speech 1:
    “The Rohingya Situation and Discussion on Regional, Domestic, and International Solutions”
    Ms. Yanghee Lee / Professor / U.N. Special Rapporteur on Rohingya Human Rights
  • Keynote Speech 2
    “May 18 Truth-finding and Development of Korea’s Democracy”
    Mr. Ahn Byung-ook / President / The Academy of Korean Studies
  • Keynote Speech 3
    “Unfinished Missio n –Righting Past Injustice”
    Mr. Kim Han-gyun / Korean Institute of Criminology

Minjoo Hall Daedong Hall Sarang Room Meeting Room
SessionⅡ State Responsibility – Laws, Perception and Practice; Overcoming Discrimination and Hatred
  • Moderator
    • Mr. Themba Lewis / APRRN
  • Speech 1
    • “Refugee Situation Overview in Asia”
    • Korea: Ms. Lee Seul / Korea Refugee Rights Center NANCEN
    • Japan: Mr. Mitsuru Nanba / Japan Lawyers Network for                       Refugees
    • Hong Kong: Mr. Issac Shaffer / Justice Center
    • Taiwan: Ms. E-Ling Chiu / Taiwan Association for Human Rights
    • Indonesia: Mr. Zico Pestalozzi / Indonesian Civil Society Network for Refugee Rights Protection / SUAKA
    • Thailand: Ms. Waritsara (Jub) Rungthong / Coalition for the Rights of Refugees and Stateless Persons
  • Speech 2
    • “Problems and Improvement of Current Legal Framework for Refugee Protection”
    • Ms. Sussi Prapakranant / APRRN
  • Speech 3
    • “Present Condition of Discrimination and Hatred of Refugees and How to Overcome It”
    • Mr. Desale Abraha / Japan Assistance for Refugees
  • Discussion 1
    • Ms. Caroline Stover
    • Legal Aide and Advocacy Working Group/APRRN
  • Discussion 2
    • Mr. Shariful Islam / University of Dhaka
  • Discussion 3
    • Mr. Brian Barbour / APRRN Regional Working Group / Act for Peace
  • Discussion 4
    • Ms. Julia Jiwon Shin / Chonnam National University
SessionⅠ Unfinished Mission –Righting Past Injustice: Outcomes and Prospects (Ⅰ)
  • Moderator
    • Mr. Choi Jeong-gi
    • Chonnam National University
  • Speech 1
    • “State-led Truth-finding Commissions and Development of Democracy”
    • Mr. Kim Han-gyun / Korean Institute of Criminology
  • Speech 2
    • “Outcomes and Limits of State-led Truth-finding Projects - Centered on Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Deaths Under Suspicious Circumstances”
    • Mr. Ahn Gyeong-ho / The April 9 Unification Peace Foundation
  • Discussion 1
    • Mr. Jang Wan-ik / Special Investigation Commission on Social Disaster
  • Discussion 2
    • Mr. Lim Jae-seong (Law Firm Haemaru)

  • Asia Democracy Network Session
    • “Sustaining the Future of the Democracy Movement: Consolidating Democracy in Asia through the Youth”

  • May 18 Democratic Uprising 40th Anniversary Preparation Overseas Koreans Meeting
12:00 Lunch
Session Ⅲ Responsibility for the May 18 Massacre and Truth-finding - The Incomplete Process
  • Moderator
    • Mr. Jeong Myong-jung
    • Chonnam National University
  • Speech1
    • “The Politics of the 5·18 Distortion”
    • Mr. Kim Jae-yun
    • Chonnam National University
  • Speech 2
    • “5·18 Truth-finding Task and the Media’s Role”
    • Mr. Jeong Hee-sang
    • The Sisain
  • Discussion1
    • Ms. Kim Jeong-in / Chuncheon Teacher’s University
  • Discussion 2
    • Mr. Jeong Mun-young / CNU May 18 Research Institute
SessionⅡ Unfinished Mission –Righting Past Injustice: Outcomes and Prospects (Ⅱ)
  • Moderator
    • Mr. Kim Dong-chun / Seongkonghoe University
  • Speech 1
    • “Korea’s Future with Transitional Justice”
    • Han Sung Hoon / Yonsei University
  • Speech 2
    • “Lessons from Holocaust”
    • N.N deutschland
  • Speech 3
    • “The 65-66 Massacre – the Road to Truth”
    • Mr. Bedjo Untung / Indonesia / YPKP65
  • Speech 4
    • Mr. Choi Yong-ju / May 18 Memorial Foundation
  • Disscussion 1
    • Mr. Suh Sung / Woosuk University
  • Discussion 2
    • Ms. Suh Jiwon / Changwon University
  • Asia Democracy Network Session
    • “Sustaining the Future of Democracy Movement: Consolidating Democracy in Asia through the Youth”
  • May 18 Democratic Uprising 40th Anniversary Preparation Overseas Koreans Meeting
    • Kang Jun-hwa
      (New York)
    • Kim Yong-hyeon
      (Los Angeles)
    • Lee Yun-hee
    • Han Jeong-hwa
    • Kim Ryong Cheor
    • Choi Bo-in
Coffee Break
SessionⅣ Closing Roundtable Session                                                                                            (Minjoo Hall)
What is to be done?
  • Chairperson
    • Mr. Hwang Pilkyu / Human Rights Law Foundation GongGam
  • Speech 1
    • “Civil Society’s Roles to Overcome Discrimination and Hatred against Refugees”
    • Mr. Lee Il / Advocate for Public Interest Law
    • Mr. Gopal Siwakoti / INHURED International
  • Speech 2
    • “Demand for State Responsibility in May 18 Truth-finding and Protecting Refugees”
    • Ms. Lilianne Fan / Geutanyoe
    • Ms. Lee Sang-hee / Jihyang Law
  • Speech 3
    • “Roles and Responsibilities of Asian Nations and International Human Rights Organizations”
    • Mr. Lee Tak-geon / Dongcheon Foundation
    • Ms. Deepa Nambiar / International Detention Coalition
17:30 Dinner
20:00 Moderators’ Meeting and Gwangju Declaration Draft Meeting
Closing Ceremony                                                                                                               (Minjoo Hall)
  • MC: Mr. Lee Gi-bong / Secretary General / The May 18 Memorial Foundation
  • Adaption of the 2019 Gwangju Declaration
  • Announcement of Asian Human Rights Charter Subsidiary Documents / Mr. Basil Fernando / AHRC in Hong Kong
  • Closing Announcement: Mr. Lee Cheol-woo / Chairman / May 18 Memorial Foundation




Cultural Excursion
**** Side Events ****
  • Refugee
    • APRRN East Asia Working Group Meeting
    • APRRN Legal Assistance WG Meeting
    • Strategy Meeting for Legal Applicability
    • Strategic Meeting for Counter Discrimination and Hatred
    • Signature Collecting Booth
    • Refugee-made Goods Booth
  • May 18
    • Confession Recording Booth
    • Documentary Exhibition