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Human Rights Watch Releases Q & A on COI
Date : January 23, 2013
Human Rights Watch have released documents for activists and governments which give an outline for why a Commission of Inquiry in to crimes against humanity in North Korea is necessary. The documents released covers - in a question and answer format - the current human rights situation in the country, why a COI is necessary, how a COI will make a difference, how a COI can be established, and what individuals and governments can do to help establish a COI.
North Korea Tops World Watch List 2013
Date : January 9, 2013
North Korea has topped Open Doors’ World Watch List 2013. The World Watch List ranks countries from around the world on how heavily they persecute Christians. North Korea placed in the “Extreme Persecution” band. It is the eleventh year in a row that North Korea has been ranked as the most serious persecutor of Christians amongst the world’s nations. Open Doors estimate the number of Christians in North Korea that participate in the underground church movement as being about 400,000. The movement is underground because open worship in North Korea carries severe risk. The punishments doled out to believers include execution and being locked up in a political prison camp.
NKIDP Release Documentation Obtained about Early Border Crossers
Date : November 13, 2012
The North Korean International Documentation Project (NKIDP) based at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars recently released a report entitled, ‘Explaining North Korean Migration to China.’ The report gives a brief overview of the history of Chinese/North Korean migration before providing documentation from between 1957 and 1970 obtained from Chinese archives which shows the internal discussion between Chinese figures and ministries over what should be done with the North Korean migrants. The 11 documents obtained also show internal dialogue on what should be done with Chinese citizens migrating to North Korea. Document 1 dates to the 17th of December, 1957. The document, sent from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Chinese Embassy in North Korea as well as to Public Security Offices in three provinces, lays out exactly how to handle illegal border crossers from North Korea and from China. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided that legal border crossers on both sides of the border should be treated with leniency. It shows that the Chinese side would allow some to stay if they did not want to be repatriated. Document 2 focuses on marriages betwee…
IFRC Report on Recent Conditions in North Korea
Date : November 6, 2012
This report covers the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent's efforts to assist North Korea between September and October. The report covers their actions as well as current conditions in the country after the flooding and drought that plagued the country earlier in the year. Source: IFRC
Opinions Adopted by WGAD Concerning Shin Sook Ja
Date : July 23, 2012
Human Rights CouncilWorking Group on Arbitrary Detention Opinions adopted by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention at its sixty-third session, 30 April–4 May 2012 No. 4/2012 (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea)Communication addressed to the Government on 1 March 2012Concerning Shin Sook Ja, Oh Hae Won and Oh Kyu WonThe Government replied to the communication on 27 April 2012
Global Hunger Index 2012
Date : October 15, 2012
The 2012 Global Hunger Index recently published by the International Food Policy Research Institute indicates that there is increasing hunger problems in the North with their GHI score trending downward to the lows of 1990. Despite large-scale international help, the North continues to suffer from food insecurity due to weak economic performance, problems in the agricultural sector, poor weather, and high spending on the military.
Crop Prospects and the Food Situation in North Korea
Date : October 8, 2012
The FAO's latest quarterly report on food security, 'Crop Prospects and Food Situation,' has continued the trend of showing the dire food output in North Korea. Despite possible record levels of crop production across the Asia region, North Korea continues to defy with the report recording the country as having a widespread lack of access to food. The reasons given for North Korea's latest food crisis are multifaceted. Drought, flooding, economic constraints, and a lack of agricultural inputs are all contributory factors to the problems. It is unlikely that the North will see any improvement soon, according to the report, with predicted problems in the future caused by this spring and summer's adverse weather.
The Situation of Human Rights in North Korea.
Date : October 4, 2012
Marzuki Darusman, the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in North Korea, recently submitted a report to the General Assembly on the human rights situation in North Korea. In the report, he used 'the opportunity to stress that for several decades egregious human rights abuses in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have been extensively documented by various actors, including organizations of the United Nations system, and called on States and the international community to undertake a comprehensive review of the relevant documents to assess the underlying patterns and trends and consider setting up a more detailed mechanism of inquiry'. The Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in North Korea has again found himself unable to get access to North Korea to be able to evaluate human rights in the country as well as provide support to the regime to uphold human rights. The Special Rapporteur has, like his predecessors, used neighboring countries to ascertain knowledge of the current human rights situation in North Korea. He recently visited Thailand where he met several officials from NGOs, academics, and diplomats to discuss the ongoing issue…
UN Resident Coordinator's Office: Situation Report No.3
Date : August 29, 2012
The UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in North Korea has published this account of the humanitarian efforts in North Korea between the 14th and 24th of August. Whilst all immediate needs are being met, the report suggests that more needs to be done to restore basic services and to provide the basic needs for citizens after the severe flooding in recent weeks.To date, the WFP humanitarian work has reached about 102,000 people in North Korea that have been affected by the floods. The WHO, UNICEF, and the UNFPA are all working closely with other international partners to ensure that health care and water are being provided for people. The DPRK Red Cross is supporting the building of temporary shelters to help those who lost their homes after the flooding.
The FAO's Rice Market Monitor Suggests a Decrease in Rice Production in Nor...
Date : August 20, 2012
The FAO's Rice Market Monitor, a quarterly review of rice production around the world, has suggested that there has been a dramatic decrease in rice production in North Korea due to a mixture of a lack of rainfall and above average temperatures in the run up to the planting months. The limited functionality of important farm equipment has surely also added to the constraints of farm output. The FAO has, although final observations have not been carried out, suggested that farm output of rice could have dropped by as much as 7% compared to 2011 levels. This undoubtedly means that more food aid will be required for North Korea.
2012 Compilation of North Korean Human Rights Violations
Date : August 17, 2012
In March 2011, the National Human Rights Commission of Korea opened the North Korean Human Rights Documentation Center & Archives and started to receive reports of human rights violations committed by the North Korean regime. Torture, beatings, and various kinds of unimaginable human rights violations were happening every day not just in the political prisoner camps but also during the interrogation processes of North Korean defectors who were forcefully repatriated. Stories about the reality of the human rights condition in North Korea are being disclosed to the world through numerous reports, but this casebook is the first of its kind to be compiled and systematically organized by a nationalorganization. During the past year, the Commission received human rights violation reports from 834 reporters and decided to publish this casebook, with the intention of sharing some of the most outstanding accounts and raising awareness of the human rights situation in North Korea.
International Religious Freedom Report for 2011
Date : August 1, 2012
Despite the regime's constitution guaranteeing religious freedom, this annual report for 2011 on the state of religious freedom around the world indicates that there has been a continuation of the complete restriction of religious freedom in North Korea. As accurate reports from within the country itself are all but impossible to come by, the report uses a variety of external sources for the basis of the report. The indication is that whilst the freedom of citizens to worship as they please has not deteriorated further, it has not improved at all meaning that North Koreans are still some of the most restricted when it comes to religious freedom. The US has continued to press for change in religious freedom in North Korea, but to no avail. Source: US Department of State.
Marked for Life: Songbun, North Korea's Social Classification System
Date : June 14, 2012
The Songbun system, which began under Kim Il Sung in the 1950s, divided the North Korean society into three classes; a loyal 'core' class, a wavering 'middle' class, and a mistrusted 'hostile' class. Marked for Life: Songbun, North Korea's Social Classification System is a new report by Human Rights Watch in North Korea and the American Enterprise Institute which details the Songbun system and how it affects life in North Korea. The report was launched on June 6th at an event in Washington D.C. where the author, Robert Collins, released his findings. In the introduction to the report Collins states, “Marked For Life” is not an exaggerated term for the socio-political classification conditions under which every North Korean citizen lives out his life; it is a cruel and persistent reality for the millions who must experience it on a daily basis."
Amnesty International 2012 Annual Reports
Date : June 5, 2012
The year ended with Kim Jong-un succeeding his father as absolute ruler of the country on 17 December, but there were no indications of an improvement in the country’s dismal human rights record. North Koreans continued to suffer violations of nearly the entire spectrum of their human rights. Six million North Koreans urgently needed food aid and a UN report found that the country could not feed its people in the immediate future. There were reports of the existence of numerous prison camps where arbitrary detention, forced labour, and torture and other ill-treatment were rife. Executions, including public executions, persisted. Collective punishment was common. Violations of freedom of expression and assembly were widespread.
Quiet Opening: North Koreans in a Changing Media Environment
Date : May 14, 2012
North Koreans today are learning more about the outside world than at any time since the founding of the country. As the information environment opens, the North Korean government no longer maintains a total monopoly over the information available to the population and, as a result, North Koreans’ understanding of the world is changing. This report examines the changes occurring in the North Korean information environment today and the significant effects these changes are beginning to have on the North Korean people. This study systematically demonstrates the relationship between North Koreans’ outside media exposure and more positive perceptions of the outside world.Source: Intermedia