The situation of human rights in the DPRK is profoundly alarming

This morning, the United Nations Security Council discussed the human rights situation in the DPRK. Slovenia condemned the long-standing, serious and ongoing systematic violations of human rights in the DPRK and stressed that accountability must be a priority. Additionally, Slovenia called on the DPRK to stop its isolationist policy and allows access to the UN and humanitarian actors to do their meaningful work.

The Council first discussed the human rights situation in the DPRK in December 2014. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the landmark UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) Report on Human Rights in the DPRK.

Today, human rights situation in the DPRK remains extremely concerning. Human rights violations and abuses include restrictions on freedom of expression and movement, collective punishment, arbitrary detention, torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading punishment, including public executions without a fair trial, and issues related to abductees, detainees, and unrepatriated prisoners of war.

“The scale of human rights violations is horrifying, some of which may constitute crimes against humanity. Slovenia is particularly worried about the situation of women and girls,” emphasized Ambassador Samuel Žbogar. To address humanitarian needs and provide development assistance to its people, the DPRK must facilitate the return of international organizations, including the UN.

The DPRK’s control over its own people has been further tightened. The social and economic conditions, including the lack of access to food, have become unbearably harsh. Moreover, the abysmal human rights and humanitarian situation in the DPRK is closely intertwined with the advancement of its weapons programs.

The DPRK is diverting its scarce resources toward the development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles in direct violations of Security Council resolutions and at the expense of the well-being of its people, alongside with political impunity for its human rights violations and abuses at home.

“Responsibility for ensuring accountability of such acts primarily rests within DPRK. However, in the absence of such efforts Slovenia is supportive of exploring other options for accountability, including through national level prosecutions under the principle of universal jurisdiction as well as referral by the Security Council to the International Criminal Court,” concluded the Ambassador.

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