UN rights expert: N Korea not making human rights improvements

27-Oct-2018 Intellasia | Jurist | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Tomas Ojea Quintana, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, said Wednesday that although there has not been any improvement in the human rights situation in the country, these rights should continue to be an “essential” part of any strategy aimed at building a lasting peace in the region.

Although hostilities in the region have been eased in light of recent international events, Quintana says the conditions of the North Korean people have not changed. Quintana stated that recent interviews with individuals who have left the country indicate that the living conditions remain harsh, particularly in light the scarcity of food, and the government continues to suppress individual freedoms.

Although Quintana applauded the recent international efforts to ease the tension, he argued that there can be no lasting peace if these human rights concerns are not addressed. Thus, he urged that, in future negotiations with the country, the international community should place a greater emphasis on developing a strategy to curtail these human rights abuses.

In his arguments, he cited a 2014 report from the commission of inquiry on human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, wherein the commission found “systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations [that] have been and are being committed by the [North] Korea.” The report found widespread suppression of the right to freedom of speech, religion, food and related aspects of a right to life, and the right to be free from arbitrary detention and torture. The report also cited a number of acts which might amount to crimes against humanity, including forced abortions, enforced disappearances, and knowingly causing mass starvation. Quintana said that stopping these abuses are what should truly matter to those lobbying for peace with the country.



Category: Korea

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