Korea Office

Rm. 1101,
88 Yulgok-ro,
Seoul 03131
South Korea

Phone: +82 (0) 2 745 2648
Fax: +82 (0) 2 745 6684


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Welcome to Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Korea Office



90 years Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung



Latest news and events

ITUC-FES "Asia Pacific Regional Pre-International Labour Conference Meeting" and ITUC-FKTU-KCTU-FES "Dialogue on UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights" (Seoul, 26 to 29 March, 2018)

The 2018 International Labour Conference (ILC) will take place in Geneva from 28 May to 8 June 2018. In advance of this conference, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) in collaboration with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Korea Office (FES Korea) has organised the "Asia Pacific Regional Pre-International Labour Conference Meeting" in Seoul between 26 and 27 March 2018, which brought the ITUC - Asia and Pacific affiliates together.

During this meeting the trade unionists exchanged their country's situations and their ideas to set up priority list for the upcoming ILC. Furthermore the participants used this opportunity to ensure that the ILC and ILO supervisory mechanism are effectively used as extensions of their campaigns such as the ITUC's Countries at Risk programme. Based on a comprehensive index the ITUC is making a watch list monitoring countries where human and trade union rights are seriously under attack. The ITUC affiliates in these countries are dealing with conflict, opposing discrimination and oppression to ensure fundamental rights for all workers. The ITUC Global Rights Index provides a yearly insight into workers' rights violation. Along with Bangladesh, Colombia, Egypt, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Qatar, the Philippines, Turkey and the UAE, South Korea was ranked as 10 worst countries (Rating 5) in 2017.

On the occasion of this event, selected unionists shared the cases of labour rights violation practiced by the Korean investments in the ASEAN region with the representatives of civil society, members of the National Assembly, government officers and academics. They also discussed about the initiative of National Human Rights Commission of Korea to include a chapter on Business and Human Rights in the National Action Plan. During a press conference, jointly organised by the ITUC, FKTU, KCTU and FES Korea on March 29, the labour activists from Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines and Vietnam delivered a strong message to follow the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in practice and guarantee an effective remedy against labour rights violation.   

The Award of FES Human Rights Prize for Peoples's Candlelight Demonstrations in Korea (Berlin, 5 December, 2017)

Following up the press conference on "The Award of FES Human Rights Prize for People's Candlelight Demonstrations in Korea" in Seoul on 16th October 2017, the award ceremony took place at the headquarter in FES Berlin on 5th December. Three representatives of the Korean candlelight citizens have paticipated at the official ceremony in Germany: Mr. Park Seok Woon (Co-President, Organizing Commitee for People's Candlelight Demonstrations in Korea), Ms. Park Jin (Organizing Commitee for People's Candlelight Demonstrations in Korea) and Ms. Jang Ae-Jin (Student, Dongnam Health University). Between October 2016 and March 2017 the Korean candlelight citizens have given the whole world evidence that peaceful exercise of democratic participation and in particular the civic right of peaceful assembly are the essential components of democracy.

Download Press Release ( Korean and English)

Download Prize Certificate ( Korean and German)

Video Link: People's Candlelight Revolution in Korea ( German)

KIEP-FES-KDGW International Conference on "Asia-EU Cooperation under Changing Environment" (Seoul, 2 November, 2017)

Globalization poses fundamental challenges which go abroad international economic relations. Two of the important questions the world economy is facing are: how can we shape the globalization process in a such way that it improves social justice and democratic stability of socities around the world; and how can we realise the growth potential in cooperation with other countries. To this effect trade governance and international economic cooperation in a broader sense need to be reviewed and adapted without giving into knee jerk protectionist reflexes.

In this cotext, the Koreanisch-Deutsche Gesellschaft für Wirtschaftswissenschaften (KDGW) co-hosted with the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP) and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Korea Office the International Conference on "Asia-EU Cooperation under Changing Environment" which was held in Seoul on 2nd November 2017.

The FES Korea Office invited two German experts on globalization and trade policy: Prof. Gerhard Stahl (Visiting Professor, European Economy Studies Department, College of Europe, Bruges) and Mr. Tim Peter (Accredited Assistant, Office of Bernd Lange, Chair of Committee on International Trade in the European Parliament). Prof. Stahl delivered a keynote speech pointing out the potential and importance of trade and economic cooperation between the EU and Asia in this era of changing environment. Introducing the parliamentary perspective on EU-Korea FTA, Mr. Peter raised the issue that both the EU and Korea have to pay attention to the implementation of Sustainable Development Chapter if they want to draw full benefit from the agreement. Both experts emphasizd the need to set up a regulatory framework based on social dialogue to enhance redistributable effects of international trade.

Seoul City-ILO International Forum on “Transforming Cities for Decent Work” (Seoul, 5 to 6 September, 2017)

Today, the social mission of city governments is not just simply creating jobs, but producing Decent Work that ensures the rights of workers so that the citizens live better and happier lives. After taking office in 2011, Park Won Soon, the Mayor of Seoul, has promoted cooperative governance with social partners, civil society, and the central government with the motto "Labour Respect Metropolitan City", which is directly relate to strengthening and localizing strategies of Decent Work Agenda of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

In this context, the Seoul Metropolitan Government in collaboration with the ILO has organized the International Forum on "Transforming Cities for Decent Work" between 5 and 6 September 2017, which brought together representatives of city government, civil society, trade unions and academics from Africa, America, Asia and Europe together.

As one of the partner organisations for the International Forum, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Korea Office has invited two urban experts from Germany and Indonesia - Dr. Thomas Franke (Research Fellow, German Institute for Urban Affairs) and Mr. Marco Kusumawijaya (Director, Rujak Center for Urban Studies) - to share their views and practices for promoting better decent work at the city level in Berlin and Jakarta.

During this event the experts exchanged experineces and enhanced the ideas for city labour policies, especially on the topics of Employment, Social Protection, Rights at Work, Social Dialogue and Future of Work.

On the last day of the forum, the Seoul City has announced the "Seoul Declaration", which includes the future directions and tasks for creating work, and suggested to launch a network for decent work cities in further coordination with the ILO.

At the occasion of this forum, the ILO Director-General Guy Ryder discussed labour issues with Korean stake holders and delivered a strong message for ratifying the ILO's fundamental conventions on freedom of association and right to collectiv bargaining during his visit in Seoul.

The Final Declaration of the Seoul City-ILO International Forum is now available at the following link: Download File ( Korean and English)


Latest publication

The German National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (unofficial translation)
Federal Foreign Office

In Korean language

The revision of the Trade and Sustainable Development Chapter
Kim, Tae Wook; Noh, Ju Hee; Kim Sola

In English and Korean language

The power resources approach

Stefan Schmalz; Klaus Dörre

In Korean language