Annual Report 




Non-Governmental Organization Seoul, South Korea

 PSPD’s 8 Priorities for a Better Future

  1. Stop State-Corporate Alliances and Corruption
    Monitor state authorities and demand transparency and accountability in their operations.
  2. Strengthen Public Contro
    Propose democratic control measures for public policy and public finance to strengthen accountability.
  3. Welfare and Economic Democracy for All
    Advocate for the economic, social and cultural rights of people.
  4. A Safe and Sustainable Society
    Spearhead the creation of a society where happiness, safety and sustainability are priorities for the people.
  5. Diversify Means of Participation and Self-Support
    Create more avenues for participation and self-support all aspects of human rights are safe-guarded regardless of one’s position in society, be they a voter, a citizen, a taxpayer, a consumer or a worker.
  6. Democratize National Security Intelligence and Diplomatic Bodies
    Strengthen monitoring of National Security, Intelligence and Diplomatic authorities and secure greater democratic control.
  7. Peace in East Asia and the Korean Peninsula
    Construct a vision for peaceful coexistence and mutual prosperity on the Korean peninsula and in East Asia.
  8. Narrowing the Gaps and Becoming One Community
    Promote talks so more voices can be heard instead of people being divided. Seek visions of an alternative society based on the power of cooperation and solidarity.

 REFRESH KOREA 1 - Creating a Country for Citizens Free from Privilege and Abuses of Power Part

Break What’s Wrong, Show What’s Right

On March 10, 2017 the Constitutional Court ousted Park Geun-hye from office. It was a victory for the citizens of the candle light movement, who had occupied downtown in the cold winter, and marked the passing of the old into the new. PSPD was heavily involved in the candlelight protests from November 2016 to April 2017, working alongside more than 1,500 civil society groups from around the country including the Civil Society Organizations Network in Korea, and the Sewol Ferry disaster organization, 4.16 Solidarity.

Full-time activists were dispatched to the movement and provided site coordinators and spokespeople for 23 candle rallies, press conference and other events. We organized debates and discussions, and helped produce the ‘2017 Candle Right Declaration’. A special task force was created within PSPD to deal with the Park Geun-hye and Choi Sun-sil scandal, and they produced 27 public statements in 2017, including calls for the arrest of Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong and the impeachment of Park Geun-hye. In February, we submitted a letter of opinion to the constitutional court outlining the grounds for her removal.

During the ensuing presidential elections, PSPD produced a policy booklet, Directions for a New Government, which was distributed to citizens. In collaboration with the Hankook Ilbo, a forum entitled Questions to Presidential Candidates was held, in which a range of civil society groups verified and reviewed each candidate’s policies. In addition, 384 Korean civil and social organizations established the 2017 Voters Action for Presidential Election, and carried out the #VoteFor photo SNS campaign. We also launched the online platform 2017 President Audition, which allowed voters to compare and review the policies of each candidate.

In July, PSPD published the policy book, Refresh Korea, which looked back on the experience of the last 20 years at PSPD. It is the follow on to the 2012 publication, Repairing the Broken Country, and shows the big changes that have happened in that time in terms of citizens’ aspirations for reform, and in the national and global setting. The book is designed to provide easy reference for readers, being structured around 70 policy tasks which are categorized by keywords, statistics, and core issues.  

Main Activities

Decentralizing the Omnipotent Powers of
the Prosecutors

Prosecutors are exerting great efforts to
establish legal and social order, and to protect the safety of the public.
The most important duty of prosecutors is to protect the lives of the public
and their properties from various kinds of crimes.

- ‘Definition of prosecutors’ from Supreme Prosecutors Office homepage


State prosecutors are granted reason formidable powers in order to carry out their duties protecting individual citizens, society and the state. However, Korean prosecutors have become compromised by political power, carrying out shoddy or ill targeted investigations that please the government. On the other hand, they have toothless in dealing with internal corruption. Watching this abuse of authority, PSPD has strongly advocated for the creation of a special investigation agency for high-ranking public officials, in order to decentralize prosecutorial power and create external checks and balances.  

In order to establish an independent investigation agency, PSPD has submitted a petition for new legislation. Together with six civil organizations focused on anti-corruption and prosecutorial reform, we carried out a range of activities including national assembly questionnaires, meetings, street campaigns, simultaneous one-person demonstrations, photo SNS campaigns, and fund-raising in newspapers. Together we published a policy document urging the normalization of the Ministry of Justice’s role in monitoring and auditing prosecutors. A report was also published cataloguing dubious investigations conducted by prosecutors during the Park Geun-hye administration.

After years of campaigning by PSPD, changes in the relationship between prosecutors and the Blue House has taken place. Major positions in the Ministry of Justice that had been exclusively occupied by prosecutors, are now open to outside candidates. Prosecutors have started to acknowledge wrongdoings in the past and reinvestigate those cases. In addition, government plans have been laid out for establishing a special investigation agency. However, the agency’s establishment has been postponed due to intervention by the Liberty Korea Party. PSPD will continue to monitor the progress of this new agency’s establishment, alongside our efforts to improve the prosecutorial service so that it becomes an agency that truly works to protect the welfare and human rights of the people.  

Main Activities

Stop the National Intelligence Service,
a Runaway Train

Under the Park Geun-hye administration the National Intelligence Service got itself involved in politics and in the process violated the human rights of the citizens. Besides illegally monitoring civilians in 2015 using the RCS hacking program, the work diaries of the late Kim Young-han, a former presidential advisor for civil affairs, revealed that the NIS had even been watching high-ranking public officials, politicians and religious figures. Numerous allegations have been raised by the press that the NIS manipulated public opinion, through its so called ‘Alpha Team’, and provided money to conservative organizations to hold rallies supporting the Park administration.

PSPD has carried out activities urging the investigation of illegal conduct by the NIS and calling for reform. In collaboration with the ‘Network to Watch the NIS’, PSPD urged presidential candidates to establish an investigative agency to examine political intervention and other illegal acts by the NIS.

With the election of a new government, an NIS reform committee was established, consisting of civil experts, and former and current NIS employees, and it has begun investigations. In response, PSPD released 15 Items that the NIS Reform Committee Should Investigate and handed a letter of policy suggestions to the committee and to the floor leader of the Democratic Party. PSPD held discussions and wrote articles for the press about the issue. Podcasts and card news were produced and efforts were made to inform citizens of the importance of NIS reform through SNS.

Eventually, the NIS came up with a somewhat advanced revision bill for the NIS including a transfer of investigative authority and the deletion of a term ‘National Security Information’ which had enabled too broadly defined what information could be gathered.  

Main Activities

For an Election that Fully Reflects
the Will of the People

In a country which has adopted a representative system to elect its officials, the fairness of the system is of utmost importance. The system must reflect the will of the people as best it can, and provide an environment where voters can participate in elections without any unnecessary restriction. However, the current electoral law does not reflect properly reflect the opinion of the people, but rather favors the large political parties. In particular, during elections voters are restricted in their ability to check the policies, abilities and qualifications of the candidates. Therefore, PSPD has been trying hard to change this unfair election law. With the support, and reflecting the demands of the 2017 candlelight movement, PSPD has executed various activities for the purpose of changing this situation.

For more than a year, ‘Joint Action for Political Reform,’ composed of more than 550 labor and civil organizations, has sought revision of the electoral law and an extension of voting rights through discussions, legislative petitions, press projects, one-person demonstrations, and monitoring the special committee for political reform at the National Assembly. A joint proposal was prepared through several national workshops, and ‘Joint Action for Political Reform’ has applied pressure to the national assembly through a legislative petition relay among youth, woman, labor and the regions, and through meetings with lawmakers.

In November, ‘Democracy Up, 2017 Political Festival’ was held with a theme of political reform and constitutional revision at Gwanghwamun square. PSPD, through story-funding, card news and press articles, has publicized attempts to limit voters’ voices, such as the indictment of 22 activists from the ‘2016 General Election Citizens Network,’ and has called for immediate changes to the electoral law.

Main Activities

 REFRESH KOREA 2 - A Caring Society that Cares for All  

Monitoring Samsung and the Law

In 2008, an independent counsel investigating corruption at Samsung, found 1,199 borrowed-name accounts used by Chairman Lee Kun-hee's, but accepted Lee's claim that the assets were inherited, and acquitted him of the charges without fully revealing the exact size and details of the slush funds. Ten years later, in 2017, checks used for the construction of Lee's home and other projects raised the issue of Samsung's slush fund again when it was confirmed by the independent counsel that none of the accounts used revealed used real names.

This was not all. The National Tax Service, which should have imposed inheritance taxes on Chairman Lee's real-name property under the Financial Real-name Act; and the Financial Services Commission, which has to impose fines and income taxes at the time of name change, have not done so. In 2008, Chairman Lee and Samsung had announced that they would pay the missing tax and not spend the remaining money on the chairman and his family, instead finding ways to use it for profitable endeavors. However, these promises have not been met.

The People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD) judged that such behavior from Chaebols undermines the basis of the financial real-name system, and beyond criticisms of illegal behavior, actively responded to the establishment of financial transaction regulations. PSPD had the independent counsel confirm whether borrowed-name accounts had been change to real-name, and insisted on the importance of enforcing taxation. Furthermore we confirmed the principle of the Financial Real-name Law that income tax should be withheld at the rate of 90%, and raised and monitored this issue with the National Tax Service and the Financial Services Commission.

In addition, PSPD, through a government audit, confirmed and publicized the issue of taxation on borrowed-name accounts, investigated the source of funds for the newly revealed suspicious borrowed-name accounts, as well as plans for taxation. In the end, the suspicions raised by the PSPD turned out to be true. At present, the Democratic Party has established a Task Force related to the taxation of Chairman Lee’s borrowed-name account by, but the issue is yet to be resolved. The PSPD will keep an eye on this issue and call for a fair resolution. In addition, we will continue to monitor the relevant tax authorities, the National Tax Service and the Financial Services Commission, to ensure that taxation and fair financial transaction regulations are in line with the law and established principles.


Main Activities

Collecting Tax Equitably and Using it Fairly

Korea is a typical 'low burden, low welfare’ state. On the other hand, the demand from the people for welfare expansion is increasing day by day. It is necessary to redistribute wealth through new tax policies and expand the tax base in order to expand welfare. PSPD urged for the normalization of corporate taxes and the strengthening of taxation on assets. In addition, we actively raised the issue of tax waste, such as the 'resource diplomacy' of the Lee Myung-bak administration.

We gave a positive assessment of the government’s revised 2017 tax bill of, which included increases in nominal tax rates for corporate and income taxes. We published a report which argued that businesses would be able to sufficiently handle the increased corporate tax burden, and also produced a “card news” brochure explaining the need to normalize corporation taxes. In the end, the National Assembly passed an amendment to the Corporate Income Tax Act, which raises the corporation tax rate from 22% to 25% for companies with a tax base of more than 300 billion won.

In order to strengthen the fairness of asset taxation, we released a report on the direction of the Comprehensive Real Estate Tax reform, which targets the top 1%, the taxation on rental income that has been neglected, and the normalization of abnormal property disclosure prices. The report received media attention and contributed to the formation of public opinion in favor of strengthening taxation to deal with unequal property ownership. In addition, we strongly criticized attempts to backtrack on the taxation of clergy, filed a written opinion on the enforcement decree of the Income Tax Act, and spearheaded a people’s petition addressed to the Blue House.  


Main Activities

Bread for All, and Roses Too

"I wanted to show the children that justice can win"

It was a victory that took five years. In 2013, the residents of Yongsan in Seoul found out that the 18-story building, located 215 meters from the Sacred Heart Girls’ Middle-High School, would be a screen horse racing gambling hall. A protest committee, consisting of residents, parents, teachers, and clergy, conducted 1,705 days of anti-gambling campaigns and 1,440 days of live-in-tent protests. Alongside Yongsan residents, the PSPD participated in the campaign holding a large number of press conferences, as well as releasing five administrative reports, three criminal accusations, two audit requests from the Board of Audit and Inspection, two National Assembly debates, and two legislative petitions. Eventually, the Korean Horse Affairs Association decided to suspend the gambling operation on December 31, 2017.

According to the National Statistical Office (NSO), the monthly average household spending on communication for two Koreans in 2016 was 144,000 won, accounting for 5.6% of the total expenditure on consumer spending following the necessities of life, education, and transportation expenses. The PSPD held a one-man protest to abolish the basic mobile communication fee and released an issue report. Even though we failed to change the basic fee, the discount rate for selective contracts was raised from 20% to 25%, and measures to reduce telecommunication costs for low income people were drawn up.

Together with small and medium-sized merchant groups, activities to root out unfair practices in distribution, affiliation, and agency sectors continued. We filed complaints against franchise headquarter executives and organized media coverage and contested claims of unfair treatment in each field. We urged reform of the Fair Trade Commission, appealed to the National Assembly for legislation changes, and presented administrative reform tasks. A revision of the Franchise Business Act passed the National Assembly, and the Fair Trade Commission announcing measures to root out unfair practices.


Main Activities

Abolition of Non-Transparent
University Entrance Fees

From 0 won to 1,030,000 won, the enrollment fee for each university is a burden on families, but the bigger problem is the lack of transparency in how the fees are calculated and used.

In September 2015, PSPD proposed a new admission reform bill and began to raise questions surrounding university admission with related organizations. Through a disclosure of information, we found that the basis for enrollment fee calculation and enforcement details were unclear. We reported the unfair admission system to the Fair Trade Commission and filed a lawsuit on behalf of 10,000 college students to return the entrance fee. On November 29, 2017, the Council for the Improvement of the Admission Fee system, formed through an agreement between private universities, college students and the Ministry of Education, decided to abolish the entrance fee. As a result, the entrance fee will be completely abolished in 2018 for national and public universities and 2022 for private universities.


Main Activities

Regulating Citizen Risk Zones

The so-called 'Regulation Free Zone Act', was promoted by the Park Geun-hye administration on the pretext of regional development. However, the reality is that the act neutralized regulations designed for public interest in various fields such as healthcare, the environment, and personal information, while relaxing regulations in other areas at the request of the large conglomerates. Reckless deregulation threatens the lives and security of citizens and damages the openness of society. In this regard, the PSPD has worked with various citizen and labor organizations to dismantle the bill.

PSPD, alongside NGOs such as the Free Medical Center, the Environmental Movement Association and the Progressive Network Center, provided evidence that the bill was an act of reciprocity for bribes received by Park Geun-hye from Chaebol leaders.

In addition, we publicized the problems with the 'Regulation Free Zone Law' through written statements and press conferences, and called for the abolition of the bill. We held several meetings with members of the National Assembly Strategy and Finance Committee, and led efforts to prevent the passage of the bill through pressure on the National Assembly.


Main Activities

A Society where Labor is Treated with Dignity

Nearly half a million workers a year do not receive their proper salary, totaling a grand sum of 1 trillion won in lost wages per year. The amount of Korean wage arrears is constantly increasing, and is larger than most comparably sized economies. Workers who do not receive wages on time suffer a situation comparable to dismissal or unemployment, whereas employers face no legal liability or economic costs beyond paying back wages when caught. Therefore employers do not take the issue of delayed wages seriously.

PSPD decided that it was imperative to create institutional measures to prevent wage arrears and promote prompt payment. First of all, we tried to reveal the actual situation of delayed payment of wages in Korea. We prepared a report on the status of wages on the basis of Ministry of Employment and Labor, and National Assembly data, and internal data confirmed by requests for information disclosure. We pointed out that the precise cause of delayed wages cannot be grasped by the current method of calculating the statistics used by the Ministry of Employment and Labor.

We raised the issue of the number of violations and the details of measures by the Ministry of Employment and Labor in relation to wage payment, including nonpayment of the minimum wage, and through this have seen a rise in social consensus on the need for the punishment of violators. According to recent data (as of August 2017), the number of cases of minimum wage violation sent to the prosecution by the Ministry of Employment and Labor, has increased three fold on the previous year. The next issue the PSPD plans to tackle is the unfair distribution of profits between original contractors and subcontractors. In addition, we will be monitoring the Fair Trade Commission and the Ministry of SMEs and Startups’ actions, in regards to the issue of payments between original contractors and subcontractors in determining the solvency of small and medium-sized enterprises.


Main Activities

 REFRESH KOREA 3 - A Peaceful, Safe and Sustainable World

No THAAD, Yes Peace

2017 was a year when the military crisis on the Korean peninsula grew tenser than ever. North Korea performed its sixth nuclear test, alongside various missile tests; U.S. forces in Korea pushed ahead with the deployment of THAAD; South Korean and U.S. troops carried out large scale military drills; and North Korea and the U.S engaged in an aggressive war of words that raised tensions on the peninsula. This is all despite the fact that those living on the peninsular do not want war.

The inclusion Korea in the United States national missile defense system, including the deployment of THAAD, is a dangerous decision that encourages an arms race in Northeast Asia and ultimately aggravates tensions on the Korean Peninsula. PSPD conducted a campaign to block the deployment of THAAD alongside the civic group “National Action to Stop the Deployment of THAAD in Korea.” PSPD, together with residents of Seongju and Gimcheon, carried out actions in Soseong-ri to prevent the introduction of equipment to be used for the THAAD system. In addition, we have sent messages to the governments of South Korea, North Korea and the U.S. demanding 'No war on the Korean Peninsula.’ We have urged the South Korean and U.S. governments to suspend joint military drills, and called on North Korea to halt nuclear and missile tests in order to open the door for dialogue.

Despite these actions THAAD was secretively deployed as Park Geun-hye governments was coming to an end, and further deployments were allowed by the Moon Jae-in government. However, PSPD played an important role in raising public awareness about the problems associated with THAAD, and built solidarity and support for the people of Soseong-ri.


Main Activities

A Society that Prioritizes Safety over Profit

The Sewol ferry tragedy that killed 304 people, and the Oxy humidifier sterilizer scandal that killed 1,296 people, were ‘social disasters’ created by a society where immediate profit is prioritized over safety. The administrations of Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye, and their political party (now known as the Liberty Korea Party) failed to fulfill their basic obligations to protect the lives of the people and keep them safe. They blocked or hindered the prosecution's investigation, and delayed both the salvage of the sunken ferry and the investigation of the damage caused by the humidifier disinfectants. PSPD worked alongside other groups to reveal the truth about the two disasters. PSPD sympathized with the pain of the victims and also united with citizens who wanted to create a safer society.

For the past four years, PSPD has hosted the ‘Seochon Yellow Ribbon Workshop’ which provides a location for citizens to make yellow ribbons. In 2017, 682 citizens produced 100,000 such ribbons. 84,550 of these ribbons were distributed around Korea and abroad. In addition, through 76 stores in Seochon, PSPD distributed more than 7,000 ribbons directly to citizens, along with.

PSPD came to the aid of the victims of the humidifier sterilizer scandal, who had been fighting alone. In 2016, PSPD and consumer-civil society groups began these activities by forming the “Humidifier Sterilizing Disaster National Network.” In January 2017, the Humidifier Sterilization Prevention Act was passed. From June to the end of the year, PSPD participated in 24 campaigns with the victim's families. The aim of the campaign was to demand that the major perpetrators, such as Oxy Korea, alongside the Korean government and National Assembly, work to uncover the truth, aid the victims and prevent a recurrence.

In September 2017, the organizations 416 Family Council, 416 Solidarity, and the Humidifier Sterilizing Disaster National Network, gathered 105,016 signatures to present to the National Assembly for the purpose of establishing a special law to identify the causes of these social disasters and to build a safer society. On November 24th, the Special Act amendment finally passed the National Assembly. This law was passed 341 days after lawmaker Park Joo-min proposed the bill, 1319 days after the Sewol Ferry disaster, and 2278 days after the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that numerous cases of lung disease had been caused by humidifier disinfectants. However, the search for justice has only began. We still have a long way to go until the full truth is revealed, until there is adequate relief and support for the victims, and until satisfactory measures have been taken to prevent future disasters. We at PSPD will continue to work towards these goals.

Main Activities

 REFRESH KOREA 4 - Our New Constitution Created by Us

Constitution of the Republic of Korea for Participatory Democracy and the Realization of Human Rights

 Korea’s current constitution is the result of the June 1987 democratic uprising, and includes direct presidential elections and an expansion of basic rights. The 1987 Constitution was a step forward, in contrast to previous constitutional changes, which had been created to prolong the dictatorship. Thirty years have passed since the Constitution was revised, and as times have changed, the current constitution has failed to capture the spirit of necessary rights and decentralization, and thus the power structure has become outdated. The changes themselves were drafted in secret, without the participation of the people, therefore explaining their obvious limitations.

Since the summer of 2016, PSPD and our policy committee have formed the "Decentralization, Self-Government, and Basic Rights Research Group" to study the Constitution and consider what should be included in the new constitution. After more than thirty meetings and group discussions, PSPD created a draft constitution to propose during the constitutional amendment process.

PSPD’s Five Main Proposals for Constitutional Reform

  1. Strengthening the sovereignty, basic human rights and gender equality of the people
  2. Strengthening self-government and decentralization
  3. Reducing presidential authority and strengthening presidential controls
  4. Institutionalization of direct democracy
  5. Promoting principles of social solidarity and the value of coexistence

Since January 2017, when the parliamentary committee for constitutional reform first began its activities, discussions have been confined to the halls of power in Yeouido. In response, 120 civic groups, including PSPD, formed the National Network for People-Led Constitutional Reform to push for five principles on which to base constitutional reform: participation of the people; basic human rights, gender equality and peoples’ sovereignty; autonomy and decentralization; institutionalization of direct democracy; and political reform.

The citizens of the candlelight protests demanded not only the resignation of the government, but the creation of a 'new country'. Such a new country does not merely result from a change of regime. It requires that the country’s basic legal framework, the constitution, reflects the new demands of the citizens and is shaped by the participation of the citizens themselves. PSPD will present its plan for constitutional reform, which it has been developing for over a year. We will pursue discussions on constitutional rights with citizens and find ways for citizens to participate in the constitutional reform process.

Main Activities


 Connected We Change

‘Good life, Positive Changes’
PSPD Academy Neutinamu

PSPD Academy Neutinamu continues to provide education programs that plant the seed of small change in everyday life; ‘from head to heart and onto action’. South Korean citizens, who once rallied with candle lights in hand, are now learning about the Constitution, economic democracy and social movements for a better world. Through education and readings on the history of revolutionary change in the 20th century, we are able to create a picture of how change comes about. We are also able to better understand our lives and society at large. Through exhibits, plays, art and dance different generations can connect with one another.  At PSPD Academy, participants reflect on themselves and learn to put into action changes, which are learnt through understanding their own lives and the current times.

Out in the Field is Our Laboratory :
Institute for a Participatory Society

PSPD’s Institute for a Participatory Society, conducts research for civil society on participatory democracy, human rights and civil engagement, based on the belief that the best place for research is out in the field with civil society.

2017 marks the 30th anniversary of the June Democracy Movement in 1987. 2017 was also the year of the Candlelight Revolution where people-power fought and defeated corrupt politics. Two projects were conducted in relation to those historic movements, 30 years of the Sixth Republic since 1987 and Finding the Future of Democracy in the Candlelight Rallies. The results were published by the institute in the biannual journal <Citizens and the World>. From the perspective of citizen politics, we held the 'Social Forum for Participation' in order to analyze the current issues in Korean society, and clarify alternatives and outlooks.

Institute for a Participatory Society will continue its research into the future of democracy and civil engagement in the post-Candlelight Revolution era and provide political alternatives to deal with the uncertainties people face in modern life.


Completion of Long-Term Research A Nation of Peace and Welfare

Many of the welfare systems and welfare states that we know of today are based on the European model of the 1970s. They have been a model for latecomers, such as South Korea to follow, but this model, tailored to the situation in the West, was something that did not necessarily fit Korea as well.

The institute believes that a true welfare system only makes sense in Korea when the issues of Korea’s division, national security and future development are all considered and accounted for. The institute argues that peace is the most important condition for a welfare state and published the results of its research from 2012 to 2017 on A Nation of Peace and Welfare.


A More Open Space for Citizens : Café Tong-In

3 years ago PSPD had an ambition. We wanted to create a ‘playground’ for citizens; a place of warmth and comfort where people could hang out. That is how Café Tong-In was started.

For the past 3 years we have been open from morning till late at night to meet citizens. Our café is a place where anyone can just pop in, rest and speak freely with their fellow citizens. Sometimes it turns into a gallery for amateur artists, a theater for performances or a discussion pad for conversations.

Each year Café Tong-In holds exhibits and events entitled Paint Seochon Yellow, in remembrance of the Sewol Ferry victims. This year we had an exhibition from by volunteers of the Seochon Yellow Ribbon Workshop and exhibits and events by mothers of the Sewol Ferry victims. Throughout the candlelight rallies, the Café served as a shelter where citizens could escape from the cold and rest their feet.

Café Tong-In will continue to be open to everyone so it could serve as a true playground for citizens, where people can learn more about PSPD, and PSPD can meet more people.

12 Years of Youth Programs

PSPD has been running youth programs since 2006. Our first program, the ‘Youth Training Program’, began in 2006, and was followed by our ‘Youth Internship Program’ in 2008. Our internship program is more than simple volunteering, but includes lectures on Korean democratic history and social issues, discussion, and direct action training. The program was renamed the ‘Youth Public Activist School’ in the second half of 2016 and has been working with youth to bring about social change.

Fueled by our experiences from the youth programs, PSPD launched the ‘PSPD Youth Committee’ in October 2015. Under the slogan of ‘Youth Made Change, Sustainable World’, the committee has been working on activities to improve the lives of young people. The committee is divided into 5 sub-committees (Economy, University, Gender Equality, Politics and Diversity) and aims to tackle youth issues such as unstable employment, inequality of opportunity, the high cost of tertiary education, a lack of youth voices in the electoral system, low wages, and harsh working conditions. We support the efforts of youth to experiment and create change in society, and to turn emotions of youth despair into hope.


 About PSPD

Who We Are

PSPD aims to build a democratic society based on the principles of human rights and popular sovereignty, which is created through the power of citizens.




PSPD does not receive any government funding. We are 100% funded by individual donations and membership fees. To be an independent and transparent watchdog organization, our mandate requires all works of PSPD to be politically impartial.


PSPD finance is based on three principles

  1. Our main source of income is individual membership fee.
  2. We do not receive any government grants.
  3. Being financially independent is our priority.




PSPD has been actively engaging with UN bodies including the UN Human Rights Council and the Security Council. In 2004, PSPD obtained a consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).



FORUM-ASIA Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development

ANFREL Asian Network for Free Election

GPPAC Global Partnership for Prevention of Armed Conflict

FIDH International Federation for Human Rights

ROA Reality of Aid

SDMA Solidarity for Democratization Movement in Asia

CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizens Participation



Join our Bi-Weekly newsletter (in Korean only)

Please visit

Become a Member / Volunteer

Contact :, +82 2 723 5051

Follow Us on Social Media @peoplepower21



Address 16, Jahamunro 9-gil, Jongno-Gu Seoul South Korea 03036


Tel +82 2 723 5051

Fax +82 2 6919 2004



PSPD Annual Report 2017 | -