Home > Information > Resolutions

 
Date : March 23, 2016
English Translation of SK's NK Human Rights Act
   http://www.hrnkinsider.org/2016/03/english-translation-of-south-koreas… [152]



North Korean Human Rights Act
Law No. 14070
Enacted: Mar. 3, 2016, Entry into force: Sept. 4, 2016

Article 1 (Purpose)
The purpose of this Act is to contribute to the protection and improvement of North Koreans’ human rights by pursuing the rights to life and liberty as defined in international human rights treaties, including the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Article 2 (Basic Principles and Responsibilities of the State) 
(1) The State shall acknowledge that the North Korean people have the right to human dignity and to pursue happiness, and shall endeavor to promote the protection and improvement of North Koreans’ human rights. 
(2) The State, while promoting the protection and improvement of North Koreans’ human rights, shall also endeavor to develop inter-Korean relations and work towards peace on the Korean Peninsula. 
(3) The State shall consistently provide sufficient financial resources to promote the protection and improvement of North Koreans’ human rights. 

Article 3 (Definitions) 
The term “North Korean,” as used in this Act, means persons who reside in the area north of the Military Demarcation Line, and have formed the basis of their livelihood—including immediate family members, spouses, or workplace—in that area. 

Article 4 (Relationships with other Acts) 
In endeavoring to promote the protection and improvement of North Koreans’ human rights, this Act shall apply except in cases where there are special provisions in the Inter-Korean Exchange and Cooperation Act, Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund Act, and Development of Inter-Korean Relations Act. 

Article 5 (North Korean Human Rights Advisory Committee) 
(1) The North Korean Human Rights Advisory Committee (hereafter “the Committee”) shall be established under the Ministry of Unification for the purpose of deliberating on policies to promote North Koreans’ human rights. 
(2) The Committee shall be composed of ten or fewer members recommended by the National Assembly, and the chairperson shall be elected by and from the members. In selecting the Committee members, the negotiating body of the current or former party of the incumbent President shall recommend one half of the members, and the negotiating bodies of other parties shall recommend one half of the members. Committee members shall be commissioned by the Minister of Unification. 
(3) Necessary matters concerning the composition and management of the Committee shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree. 

Article 6 (Basic Plan for the Promotion of North Koreans’ Human Rights and Implementation Plan) 
(1) The Minister of Unification shall formulate a basic plan to promote the protection and improvement of North Koreans’ human rights (hereafter “basic plan”) every three years in consultation with the head of relevant central administrative agencies and the Committee. A basic plan shall include the following matters.
  1. Research on human rights conditions in North Korea 
  2. Measures to protect and improve North Koreans’ human rights, including, but not limited to, inter-Korean human rights dialogue and humanitarian assistance 
  3. Other matters deemed necessary for protecting and improving North Koreans’ human rights, as determined by Presidential Decree 
(2) In accordance with the basic plan, the Minister of Unification shall formulate every year an implementation plan (hereafter referred to as “implementation plan”) in consultation with the Committee. 
(3) Once the basic plan and implementation plan have been formulated, the Minister of Unification shall inform the National Assembly without delay. 

Article 7 (Promoting Inter-Korean Human Rights Dialogue) 
(1) The Government shall pursue inter-Korean human rights dialogue regarding important matters in promoting the protection and improvement of North Koreans’ human rights. 
(2) Necessary matters regarding the appointment of the representatives participating in inter-Korean human rights dialogue shall be governed by Article 15 of the Development of Inter-Korean Relations Act, with the necessary modifications. 
(3) Other necessary matters in pursuing inter-Korean human rights dialogue shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree. 

Article 8 (Humanitarian Assistance) 
(1) The State shall observe the following matters when providing humanitarian assistance to the North Korean authorities and North Korean agencies for the purpose of promoting the protection and improvement of North Koreans’ human rights. 
  1. The distribution of assistance shall be conducted transparently and in compliance with internationally recognized standards. 
  2. The most vulnerable groups, including children and pregnant women, shall be prioritized in the provision of assistance. 
(2) The State shall endeavor to ensure that humanitarian assistance delivered by private organizations observes the conditions stated in the sub-clauses of clause (1). 

Article 9 (International Cooperation to Promote North Korean Human Rights) 
(1) The State shall cooperate with foreign governments, international institutions, international organizations, and other entities with regards to people-to-people exchanges and information sharing in promoting the protection and improvement of North Koreans’ human rights, and shall endeavor to raise international attention towards promoting human rights in North Korea. 
(2) In accordance with clause (1), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs may appoint an Ambassador-at-large for Human Rights in North Korea (hereafter “Ambassador for International Cooperation on North Korean Human Rights”) to promote international cooperation for promoting human rights in North Korea. 
(3) Necessary matters concerning the Ambassador for International Cooperation on North Korean Human Rights, including duties and qualifications, shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree. 

Article 10 (Establishment of North Korean Human Rights Foundation) 
(1) The Government shall establish the North Korean Human Rights Foundation (hereafter “the Foundation”) to investigate human rights conditions in North Korea, and to conduct research and develop policies on matters related to promoting the protection and improvement of North Koreans’ human rights, including inter-Korean human rights dialogue and humanitarian assistance. 
(2) The Foundation shall be an incorporated body, and it shall be duly formed once it is registered at the physical location of its main office. 
(3) The Foundation shall conduct the following projects, and each project may be managed by a specialized body.

1. Projects to promote the protection and improvement of North Koreans’ human rights, including inter-Korean human rights dialogue:
A. Investigation and research on human rights conditions in North Korea
B. Formulating and recommending policy options for the Government on issues including inter-Korean human rights dialogue
C. Other projects reviewed by the Committee and assigned by the Minister of Unification
D. Providing support to civic society organizations necessary for conducting the above projects

2. Projects to promote the protection and improvement of North Koreans’ human rights, including humanitarian assistance:
A. Investigation and research on the need for humanitarian assistance in North Korea
B. Formulating and recommending policy options for the Government regarding humanitarian assistance to North Korea
C. Other projects reviewed by the Committee and assigned by the Minister of Unification
D. Providing support to civic society organizations necessary for conducting the above projects

(4) Other necessary matters concerning the establishment of the Foundation shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree. 

Article 11 (Operation of the Foundation)
(1) Funds for the Foundation’s operation shall be drawn from the following.
  1. Contributions by the government
  2. Other income
(2) The Foundation may accept voluntarily donations with the approval of the Minister of Unification, provided that such donations are used for purposes within the scope of the Foundation’s activities, notwithstanding the provisions under Article 5.2 of the Act on the Collection and Use of Donations.
(3) The Minister of Unification shall manage and supervise the Foundation.
(4) If deemed necessary for the Foundation to achieve its objectives, the Minister of Unification may request the heads of relevant agencies to send to the Foundation public officials belonging to such agencies.
(5) Unless otherwise prescribed by this Act, the provisions of the Civil Code concerning incorporated foundations shall apply in regard to the Foundation, with the necessary modifications.
(6) Other necessary matters concerning the management and supervision of the Foundation and the process for accepting donations shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree. 

Article 12 (Composition of Foundation Board Members)
(1) The Foundation shall have not more than twelve board members, including a president. The board shall be composed of individuals recommended by the National Assembly, including two board members recommended by the Minister of Unification. In recommending the board members, the negotiating body of the current or former party of the incumbent President shall recommend one half of the members, and the negotiating bodies of other parties shall recommend one half of the members. The board members shall be appointed by the Minister of Unification.
(2) With the exception of the president and other full-time members as designated by the articles of association, the board members will serve in a part-time capacity.
(3) The president shall be elected from among the board members. The term for the president and the executives shall be three years, and all board members may be re-appointed once. The term of ex officio board members shall be the term of their office.
(4) Other necessary matters concerning the selection of board members for the Foundation shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree. 

Article 13 (Database Archive for North Korean Human Rights)
(1) The Ministry of Unification shall establish the Database Archive (hereafter “the Archive”) for North Korean Human Rights to collect and record information related to human rights conditions in North Korea and promoting the protection and improvement of North Koreans’ human rights.
(2) The Archive shall conduct the following activities and collect, research, document, and publish information and other materials.
  1. Matters related to investigating and researching the human rights situation of the North Korean people
  2. Matters related to South Korean prisoners of war, abducted South Korean citizens, , and separated families
  3. Other matters as reviewed by the Committee and deemed necessary by the Minister of Unification
(3) The activities listed under clause (2) may be entrusted to external institutions. For this purpose, financial support may be provided within the scope of the budget.
(4) The Archive shall have a director appointed or commissioned by the Minister of Unification. The director shall be chosen from among senior government officials or civilian experts who have extensive knowledge and experience in the area of human rights in North Korea.
(5) The materials collected and documented by the Archive shall be transferred every three months to the Ministry of Justice, under which a specialized body shall be established for the purpose of preserving and managing such records.
(6) Other necessary matters concerning the composition and management of the Archive shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree. 

Article 14 (Cooperation with Relevant Institutions)
(1) In conducting tasks that aim to promote the protection and improvement of North Koreans’ human rights, the Minister of Unification may, as deemed necessary, request administrative agencies, public institutions, and relevant individuals to submit information, provide testimony, and provide other forms of cooperation necessary to policy implementation.
(2) The heads of administrative agencies or public institutions and relevant individuals shall, upon receiving requests under clause (1), comply with such requests in the absence of any specific reasons to the contrary.
(3) The heads of relevant central administrative agencies and local governments who seek to enact or amend an Act or ordinance related to the activities proscribed under this Act shall notify the Minister of Unification thereof. 

Article 15 (National Assembly Report)
(1) In addition to the basic plan and implementation plan, the Minister of Unification shall give an annual report to the National Assembly before the beginning of the regular session regarding the following matters.
  1. Human rights conditions in North Korea
  2. Degree of progress and results pertaining to efforts to promote the protection and improvement of North Koreans’ human rights
  3. Formulation of plans regarding South Korean prisoners of war, abducted South Korean citizens, and separated families, and degree of progress in the implementation of such plans
  4. Evaluation of projects referred to in sub-clauses 1 to 3, as conducted by the government, central administrative agencies, and local governments
  5. Other matters as deemed relevant by the Minister of Unification
(2) In relation to reports referred to in clause (1), the National Assembly may, when deemed necessary, request rectification or improvement.

Article 16 (Application of Penal Provisions relating to Public Officials)
In the performance of their duties, the executives and staff members of the Foundation may be considered public officials subject to Article 127 and Articles 129 through 132 of the Criminal Code.

Article 17 (Penalty Provisions)
Any person who receives financial support under this Act by fraudulent or other illegal means shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than three years or by a fine not exceeding thirty million won. 


Addenda (No. 14070, March 3, 2016)


Article 1 (Entry into force)
This Act shall enter into force six months after the date of its promulgation. 

Article 2 (Preparation for Establishment of the Foundation)
(1) The Ministry of Unification shall appoint a founding committee of not more than seven individuals within thirty days of the promulgation of this Act, so that they may execute tasks related to the establishment of the Foundation.
(2) The founding committee shall prepare the articles of association of the Foundation and obtain authorization from the Minister of Unification. Once this authorization has been received, the founding committee shall complete without delay the registration of the Foundation through joint signatures.
(3) As soon as the registration has been completed, the founding committee shall hand over its affairs without delay to the president of the Foundation, and thereafter, the members of the founding committee shall be deemed to have been released from commission.
(4) Expenses incurred in relation to establishing the Foundation shall be borne by the State. 





Prev  Next