[Academy][6] Week 9: Improving North Korean human rights through the international human rights regime

27 May 2015
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On November 12th, 2014, the 9th week of lecture was held.

Subject: Improving North Korean human rights through the international human rights regime

Lecturer: Park Beom-Suk (Kyunghee University)

The time had come to start thinking about changing the world's attitude and awareness on North Korean human rights due to movements such as formation of United Nations Commission of Inquiry (COI) and installation of Field Based Structure through the "United Nations Human Rights Council's UN Resolution on the Situation of Human Rights in the DPRK."

 

UN Field Based Structure:

Investigate North Korea's responsibility for broad and organizational violence of human rights and observe North Korean human rights matters. 

- It will be managed independently in South Korea based on UN's basic rules

1. Perform COI's advisements

2. Strengthen support for United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in North Korea

3. Monitor and record status of North Korean human rights matters

4. Record and archive investigation of North Korean defectors and international regulations

- Office is formed with 5 or less employees

 

Two general forms of the UN's human rights mechanisms: treaty monitoring system and the charter monitoring system

(1) Based on treaty:

- based on UN's six major human rights treaty 

1. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

2. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

3. International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination

4. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

5. Convention of the Rights of the Child

6. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

(2) Based on charter system 

i) Universal Periodic Review (UPR); Regularly review status of human rights in all 193 UN member countries compared to the universal human rights standards; report every 4.5 years.

             (North Korea)

             - 1st (2009) : 167 advices (81 accepted, 6 partly accepted, 15 reviewed)

             - 2nd (2014): 268 advices (113 accepted, 4 partly accepted, 58 reviewed)

ii) Special Procedure; Research/Study focused on specific countries or specific topics on human rights

             - June 2004, Thai professor Vitit Muntarbhorn was appointed as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in North Korea, and later, lawyer Marzuki Darusman took the job and submitted annual reports.

iii) Petition Procedure; In case of chronic, severe human rights violations in a specific country, the victim-individual or organization submits an anonymous petition to Human Rights Council

Is North Korea's' human rights issue a special problem that arose due to separation between North Korea and South Korea, or is it due to ideology? Is it international human rights issue or humanity issue? Suggesting questions like this, it was a time to review the perspective on North Korean human rights and think about the direction we should head to in the future. I hope we can all hope to one day achieve true improvement and unification.