‘Critical test’ for North Korea’s Government as civilian suffering remains rife, warns UN rights expert

@ WFP/Colin Kampschoer A woman queues at a food distribution in Songchon County as part of the Food for Disaster Risk Reduction (FDRR) project in Songchon County, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. 26 January 2017.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

The human rights situation in Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – DPRK – remains “extremely serious”, and along with international demands for denuclearization, this constitutes a “a critical test” for the year ahead, a senior UN-appointed expert said on Friday.

Tomás Quintana was speaking in his capacity as UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in DPRK, commonly known as North Korea; his press conference was held in the South Korean capital, Seoul, as he continued to be denied access to its northern neighbour.

“Of those who left the North recently that I interviewed during this mission, every person gave accounts of ordinary people being subjected to exploitative labour and serious human rights violations such as forced evictions in the name of development,” he said. “Stories were told to me of people, including children, being subjected to long hours of labour where they were forced to work without remuneration…. One person concluded: “the whole country is a prison.”

Mr. Quintana urged the DPRK authorities to engage with his mandate and allow him to visit the country “to hear the voice of the people and the authorities”.

Many ordinary people ‘being left behind’

He detailed personal testimonies gathered during his five-day mission about “political prison camps” which contain “thousands of people” accused of committing crimes against the State.

Their detention happens without “due process guarantees or fair trial, in a manner that amounts to enforced disappearances with the family not knowing their whereabouts”, the Special Rapporteur explained, before highlighting that people’s “fear” of being imprisoned was “very real and deeply embedded in the consciousness of the ordinary North Korean people”.

Surveillance and close monitoring of ordinary citizens is also a fact of life in DPRK, Mr. Quintana continued, as well as other restrictions on basic freedoms, not least the prohibition on leaving the country.

His comments follow a historic meeting between DPRK leader Kim Jong-Un and US President Donald Trump in Singapore last June, which focused on denuclearization talks.

Humanitarian aid remains ‘vital’

Noting that Kim had stated that “improving people’s standard of living radically” was a priority in his New Year message, Mr. Quintana said that this might represent “recognition” of economic and social hardships for ordinary people.

It “represents an important first step towards taking action to address the challenges,” the UN expert said, before calling on the international community to continue to support the “vital” humanitarian assistance that was being provided by various actors to the people of the DPRK.

“In particular, it is important that humanitarian cooperation is extended without politicization and in full respect of the principles of neutrality and independence,” he said, reiterating a call to the UN Security Council to ensure its sanctions do not have a detrimental impact on the people of the DPRK.

The findings of Mr. Quintana’s latest report will be delivered to the Human Rights Council in Geneva at its next regular session which begins in late February.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Thursday’s Daily Brief: impact of bad working conditions, Syria and Libya humanitarian news, human rights in Bahrain, families reunified in South Sudan

Instability in Africa’s Sahel, spreading outwards, Security Council told

Menu for change: why we have to go towards a Common Food Policy

Digital business is Europe’s best hope to get back to growth

World Health Organization calls crisis meeting over deadly Ebola outbreak in DR Congo

For Youth Rights: steps forward for better protection.

The 5 stages of acceptance as robots enter the workforce

Finland, Switzerland and New Zealand lead the way at teaching skills for the future

Imaginary Journeys Into Eternal China

The Parliament accuses core EU countries of exploiting their dominant political position

Pay packet inequality growing worldwide, says new UN report

EU Commission and ECB rebuff Germany on the Banking Union

We must stop choking the ocean with plastic waste. Here’s how

UN rights chief ‘alarmed’ by upsurge in attacks against civilians in Syria’s Idlib

MWC 2016 LIVE: Gamelab founder talks Apple TV, VR and monetisation

UN member states express their will to tackle global migration but specific actions are still missing

Mobile World Congress 2015 first to debate EU’s new stance on Net Neutrality and Roaming Charges

Low quality healthcare is increasing the burden of illness and health costs globally

Syrians still living on ‘razor edge’ as UN launches $8.8 billion dollar appeal

rescEU assets mobilised to help Greece fight devastating forest fires

Iceland to take vacated US seat on Human Rights Council

World Cancer Day: Early cervical cancer diagnosis could save lives of over 300,000 women

5G mobile is nearly here – but we should share networks to make it affordable

Security Council approves ‘historic’ political Haiti mission, ending UN peacekeeping role in the country

‘Comprehensively include migrants’ or sustainable development won’t happen, warns General Assembly President

EU Migrant Crisis: Italian Coast Guard Headquarters and Italian Navy to give host national opening addresses at Border Security 2016 in Rome

Here are 4 ways investors can influence more secure and responsible innovation

How close is Eurozone to a new recession which may trigger formidable developments?

Catalan Pro-Independence vote: how many hits can Brussels sustain at the same time?

Deeper reforms in Germany will ensure more inclusive and sustainable growth

EU to manage external borders against the will of member states; Greece to be the first target

12 ways the tech sector can help save the climate in 12 years

Eurozone at risk of home-made deflation and recession

Humanitarian aid convoy to Syria’s Rukban camp: Mission Accomplished

Capital Markets Union: Making it easier for insurers to invest in the real economy

Parliament sets conditions on EU-China investment deal

JADE Generations Club: Connecting perspectives, changing Europe.

Microplastics have spread right to the sea bed, study finds

Every bite of burger boosts harmful greenhouse gases: UN Environment Agency

The EU moulds a new compromise for growth and financial sustainability

NASA has released new photos of the Apollo 11 moon landing

Nearly 900 reportedly killed following ‘shocking’ intercommunal attacks in DR Congo

With Libyans now ‘fighting the wars of others’ inside their own country, UN envoy urges Security Council action to end violence

Germany to re-invent its security position in Europe and a chaotic world

Spirit unlimited

Frontline workers vaccinated in Uganda over Ebola fears, as top UN officials visit outbreak epicentre in DR Congo

How one change to shipping goods could change the way we live

ECB again to subsidize euro area banks with more than one trillion euro

Everything you need to know about Ireland’s economy (Post Brexit)

UN agency ramps up effort to counter growing nuclear threat from cyberspace

UN chemical weapons watchdog adds new powers to assign blame, following attacks

A Sting Exclusive: “Youth voice must be heard in climate change negotiations!”, Bérénice Jond Board Member of European Youth Forum demands from Brussels

Not a single child spared the ‘mind-boggling violence’ of Yemen’s war

FROM THE FIELD: Liberia boosts efforts to guard against rising seas

What do toilets have to do with climate change?

The financial world upside-down: debt failure closer

One Day in Beijing

How secure is blockchain?

Our healthcare systems are ailing. Here’s how to make them better

New UN rights report paints bleak picture in eastern DR Congo

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s