[General]NKDB submitted an individual Civil Society Report for the 4th Universal Periodic Review on North Korea

12 Apr 2024
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On April 8, 2024, alongside our joint submission with FIDH, NKDB also submitted an individual Civil Society Report for the 4th Universal Periodic Review on North Korea. 

The focus of this report lies on three vulnerable groups and their rights in North Korea namely women, children, and persons with disabilities in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) including everyone’s right to proper healthcare and education.

Since the DPRK’s third UPR cycle in 2019, NKDB has been actively monitoring and documenting human rights conditions of these vulnerable groups in North Korea by gathering testimonies from witnesses and experts, as well as examining changes in domestic laws. A comprehensive overview of NKDB’s monitoring can be found in its latest report Third Time’s a Charm?

The submission underscores the DPRK government's failure to act on UPR recommendations concerning critical issues affecting vulnerable groups: 

(a) gender-based discrimination and violence against women; 

(b) obstacles to education and exploitation of children; 

(c) the exclusion of persons with disabilities from socioeconomic opportunities. 

It also emphasizes the heightened vulnerability of these groups during the COVID-19 pandemic, exacerbated by the DPRK's consistent refusal to admit humanitarian organizations contradicting the DPRK's obligations under ratified UN human rights treaties such as Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Convention on the Rights of Children (CRC), and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

The report concludes with concrete recommendations for the DPRK which can be summarized as follows.

  1. The rights of women:

Increase the representation of women in politics and guarantee women the equal opportunity for promotion in the workplace.

Establish reporting and recourse mechanisms for victims of gender-based violence, including domestic violence.

  1. The rights of disabled persons:

Raise awareness of intellectual and other disabilities not physically apparent, including cerebral palsy, autism, Down’s syndrome, and spina bifida. 

Guarantee access to all types of employment, education, and other services to all persons with disabilities across the country, including rural areas.

  1. Rights of children:

Subsidize all costs associated with compulsory education, including development costs.

Explicitly prohibit child labor and exploitation in all settings, including schools and homes.

  1. Healthcare and Humanitarian Help

Provide comprehensive healthcare, including both diagnostic and treatment services, for all individuals at an affordable cost. Subsidize essential healthcare services for financially struggling individuals.

Provide UN agencies and other humanitarian actors with unhindered access to vulnerable populations in all counties and provinces.

The fourth UPR of North Korea at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, is scheduled for November 2024. NKDB calls upon the North Korean government to utilize the UPR cycle and take tangible steps to improve human rights conditions, as well as engage in dialogue with the international community at the Human Rights Council.

Please find detailed information about the NKDB individual Civil Society Report submitted regarding the DPRK’s UPR session in the attached file.