President, National Human Rights Commission Kyong-whan Ahn of Korea, South

After years of armed conflict, in 1960, when Ahn was 12, a student uprising overthrew the divided countrys autocratic government and brought about some democratic reforms.
Ahn joined the student activist movement that protested the repression of human rights and advocated for democracy.
Not surprisingly, Ahn is also a committed scholar in the area of human rights, including the right to dissent, aliens rights under the US.
Though Ahn says he chose Santa Clara law primarily to be close to his mother, one wonders if the match were not more auspicious.
At Santa Clara Law, Ahn was able to build on the values he learned as a child.
In a telephone conversation with the DailyNK on the 30th, Professor Ahn said “As one man, the Chairman of NHRCK, I cannot simply sum up the issue of North Korea human rights.
Professor Ahn said “I am aware that NHRCK has been conducting researches for a while now in regards to the North Korea human rights issue” and revealed that “The commission will conduct in-depth discussions on how it will act regarding the issue.
At present, Ahn is one of the policy-advisory committee members for NHRCK, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the S.
Yoon Tae Young, a spokesperson of the Blue House said “The designate Chairman of NHRCK, Ahn has participated in various grassroots organizations, has spoken at many movements and in 2004, was on the advisory committee in preparation for the International Conference for National Human Rights Institutions.
Ahn said about 5,000 petitions are filed with the commission every year, and that its staff of 200 conducts initial reviews.
Ahn said he was aware of the criticism that the National Human Rights Commission has only protected the rights of leftist civic groups and protesters.
Professor Kyong-Whan Ahn was inaugurated as President of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea on 30 October 2006.
Until his appointment as President, Professor Ahn was a member of the APFs Advisory Council of Jurists.
In his inauguration speech to Human Rights Commissioners and staff, Professor Ahn said that the NHRCK should respect and cooperate with other institutions and organizations as well as express its opinion squarely.
In his address, Professor Ahn said that he would take an active role in securing Korean constitutional law and other laws and protecting and promoting human rights.
Professor Ahn has previously served as Professor of Law at the Seoul National University, Chair of the Korean Constitutional Law Association and Law School Dean at the Seoul National University.
Professor Kyong Whan Ahn has been the Dean of Seoul National University College of Law during 2002-2004, and is currently spending a six month sabbatical at the Santa Clara Law School while teaching as Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law.
Ahn said North Korea's human rights situation will also be reviewed to determine what issues his agency can take up internationally and what requires Seoul's attention.