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Civic groups file complaint against ban on sex education books for kids from local libraries

By Yonhap

Published : Sept. 8, 2023 - 19:23

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Civic groups file a complaint to the National Human Rights Commission of Korea in Seoul over the recent restrictions of sex education books for children in provincial public libraries on Friday. (Yonhap) Civic groups file a complaint to the National Human Rights Commission of Korea in Seoul over the recent restrictions of sex education books for children in provincial public libraries on Friday. (Yonhap)

Civic groups filed a complaint against a provincial governor and the culture minister Friday, calling for the reversal of a recent decision to remove sex education books for children from public libraries.

Some 10 children's books on sex education have been ousted from 36 public libraries in South Chungcheong Province since July 25, after civic and parents groups complained that they justify homosexuality or promote the premature sexualization of children.

The South Korean Coalition for Anti-discrimination Legislation, along with over 300 local residents, filed the complaint with the National Human Rights Commission on Friday, calling the recent ban on sex education books a "retreat of democracy" that violates the basic right to freely access information.

The civic groups accused the governor and the education chief of South Chungcheong Province, along with the culture minister, who is in charge of library policies, of violating the constitution, which guarantees the right to freely enjoy cultural life, and as for authors, the right to display their artistic work to the public.

They also said the decision to ban such books was based on distorted values on gender equality and hatred of sexual minorities.

"These books include concrete knowledge and facts about gender equality and sex education, as suggested by the United Nations' comprehensive sexuality education," the civic group said in a statement. "Our country, and the local governments, should be encouraging more children and adolescents to read and borrow these books." (Yonhap)