[Event][Human Rights Council] Oral statement for the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on human rights in North Korea

3 Apr 2023
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On 20 March 2023, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Database Center for North Korean Human Rights (NKDB) and Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG) delivered an oral statement during the Interactive dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in North Korea at the UN Human Rights Council’s 52nd session. The statement noted the deep-rooted social stigma in North Korean society has prevented women and girls from seeking redress, and called for more awareness of various ways of seeking redress for the victims of sexual and gender-based violence in the country. Read the oral statement below.

UN Human Rights Council – 52nd Session

Item 4: Interactive Dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK

20 March 2023

[Check against delivery]

Mister President, Madam Special Rapporteur,

FIDH, NKDB, and TJWG welcome the Special Rapporteur’s latest report focusing on issues pertaining to the rights of women and girls in the DPRK.

The report not only highlights the gravity, scale, and nature of human rights violations in the DPRK, but also brings attention to the social context in which certain violations are accepted and tolerated within society.

Interviews with over 20,000 victims of human rights violations from the DPRK in the last 20 years make it clear that the deep-rooted social stigma in North Korean society has prevented women and girls from seeking redress.

The victims reported that officers from the Ministry of State Security, the Ministry of Social Security, and other government agencies do not view violence against women as a serious crime. In fact, 834 cases in NKDB’s Unified Human Rights Database indicate that these officers are the perpetrators of such crimes.

We wish to raise awareness of various ways of seeking redress for the victims of sexual and gender-based violence in the DPRK. Judicial accountability for these grave crimes is a non-negotiable component of a victim-centered resolution. At the same time, we call for a broad range of non-judicial remedies for the victims, including a safe platform to express and share their experience, memorialization, and psychological aid.

Lastly, we urge China to stop the deportation of North Korean women who face sexual and gender-based violence in the DPRK.

Thank you.

Watch NKDB's Oral Statement Here