Are human rights always the scapegoat of economic development? : Miryang, a troubled city

human rights the scapegoat of economic development

by Hanna Noh

[1] South Korea, the first country to become the UN assessment contributor from UNAIDS, miracle of the Han River. Those are common accolades commemorating South Korea’s incredible development over the past half-century. After three years of a devastating Korean War (1950-1953), the country was left impoverished and in a dire state. Consequently, basic human rights such as freedom of expression and freedom of assembly were often sacrificed in pursuit of industrialization and development. Now, South Korea enjoys its status as the world’s 15th largest GDP (Gross Domestics Products)[2] and is ranked 7th largest merchandise exporter in the world[3]. Nevertheless, what we are witnessing now in Miryang, a small farming village located in the Southeast region of South Korea, resembles the development stage of South Korea seen in the 1970’s, when government prioritised national development over individual rights.

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