Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and a number of other co-signers * are urging the UN Security Council to hold another formal session, prior to the end of 2015, on the human rights situation in North Korea.
Excerpts of the letter:
As you know, the UN Human Rights Council-mandated Commission of Inquiry on the human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) concluded that “the long-standing and ongoing patterns of systematic and widespread violations” of human rights in the DPRK “meet the high threshold for proof of crimes against humanity.” The commission found that the nature, scale, and gravity of these abuses “reveal a state that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world.”
The commission concluded that the DPRK’s ongoing “open defiance of the United Nations makes this a case where decisive, yet carefully targeted action should be taken by the Security Council in support of the ongoing efforts of the remainder of the United Nations system.”
The human rights situation in the DPRK remains dire. In his most recent report to the UN General Assembly, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK concluded that “grave violations continue to be committed on a large scale and particularly affect the most vulnerable groups.” The Special Rapporteur further called on the international community to “step up efforts to protect the population” of the DPRK and “hold the government accountable for those gross violations.”
In our view, it is critical that the UN Security Council hold another formal session on the situation in the DPRK this year. International pressure remains a critical avenue to press the DPRK to change. It is no coincidence that last year’s unprecedented engagement by the DPRK at the UN Human Rights Council and at the UN General Assembly followed concerted international attention to its human rights record.
[Co-signors include Amnesty International, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights (NKHR), Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK), Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, International Coalition to Stop Crimes Against Humanity in North Korea (ICNK), International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), and Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights]