UN Human Rights Council, 37th Session (26 February – 23 March 2018)
Agenda Item 4: ID with Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Speaker: Claire Denman
Thank you Mr President.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) thanks the Special Rapporteur for his ongoing work and latest report. There is a long way to go in the campaign for human rights in the country.
Four years after the publication of the Commission of Inquiry report, few of its recommendations have been implemented. In addition, the DPRK has shown a lack of cooperation in refusing the Special Rapporteur access to the country.
CSW remains concerned by the human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The human rights violations perpetrated by the State are ongoing. There is no freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief in the DPRK, and anyone who expresses an opinion or a belief which differs from the official line faces severe punishment. It is estimated that over 200,000 people are detained in prison camps, where they endure dire living conditions and brutal torture. Many of these are Christians.
CSW calls on the DPRK to end the violent, targeted persecution of Christians across the nation and to immediately and unconditionally release all persons currently detained in prison camps and provide for their physical, mental and societal rehabilitation where needed.
While the human rights situation in the DPRK remains one of the worst in the world, evidence suggest that things are changing internally in the country. CSW’s new report, Movies, Markets and Mass Surveillance’, has found that in the past decade, ‘although the regime has not changed, the people have.’
In addition, there are changes in economic modes of survival, defection patterns, freedom of __EXPRESSION__ and criticism of the state, changes in the flow of information and to human rights in law and practice.
In order to find new and effective ways of addressing the human rights situation it is imperative that we understand these changes, and work together with North Koreans outside the country to bring about a brighter future.
CSW recommends that the international community makes human rights a priority in all actions and discussions concerning the DPRK. In this sense human rights should not be overshadowed by issues of security. UN member states, UN institutions, civil society and other relevant actors should emphasise the connections between security, human rights and humanitarian needs.