The nation’s human rights watchdog ruled that restaurants’ “no-kids” policy banning children from entering at their premises was an act of discrimination.
The National Human Rights Commission of Korea said on Friday that it advised the owner of a restaurant to lift its ban on children aged 13 or under.
According to the human rights watchdog, a petitioner visited the restaurant in Jeju with his family including a nine-year-old child in September last year, but the restaurant asked them to leave as no children under the age of 13 were allowed. He then filed a complaint to the commission.
The restaurant claimed that it decided to ban children for fear of accidents and causing trouble for other customers.
While acknowledging the right of those who operate commercial facilities to run their business freely under Article 15 of the Constitution, the commission said such freedom was not recognized without limits.
“The restaurant sells Italian food such as pasta and steak, and is not a place that is harmful for children’s physical or mental health,” the commission said.
“Not all children or all people accompanying children can cause much damage to the restaurant owner or other customers.”
The human rights watchdog said that business proprietors must have reasonable grounds if they wish to exclude a certain group of people from using their services.
“There may be rude customers causing trouble to other people, but an all-out ban is an irrational generalization,” the commission said.
By Kim So-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)