HRRC Director, Mr. Marzuki Darusman, who serves as Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), filed his most recent report at the 22nd session of the UN Human Rights Council.
The report provides a comprehensive review of United Nations documentation and resolutions on the situation of human rights in the DPRK since 2004. Darusman highlights nine key inter-linked issues or patterns of violations of human rights, as follows:
- Violation of the right to food, in particular the effect of State-controlled food distribution policies on the nutritional status and health of the population and the restricted entry of international humanitarian aid to deal with the endemic food crisis;
- Torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, including inhuman conditions of detention;
- Arbitrary detention, as a form of persecution and the criminalization of any behaviour deemed threatening or contrary to the official ideology of the Government, the lack of rule of law and the absence of due process or an independent judiciary;
- Violations of human rights associated with prison camps;
- Discrimination and the disproportionate or specific effect of human rights violations on vulnerable groups, in particular women, children, people living with disabilities and returnees. Of particular concern is the fact that society is divided into three distinct groups classified according to their political allegiance to the Government. A person’s place in this hierarchy determines the level of access that he or she will have to basic human rights, including access to food, health, education and freedom of movement;
- Extensive violation of freedom of expression and other related freedoms;
- Violation of the right to life, in particular the abusive application of the death penalty and the use of public executions;
- Restrictions on freedom of movement and abusive treatment of citizens forcibly returned;
- Enforced disappearances, including in the form of abductions of foreign nationals.
The report concludes with a recommendation for the establishment of an inquiry mechanism with adequate resources to investigate and more fully document the grave, systematic and widespread violations of human rights in the DPRK.
Read the full report.