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Gross Human Rights Violations In North Korea


A United Nations Human Rights staff member points to the title of a drawing describing North Korean labour camp no 18, a gift made in December 2012 by survivor Kim Hye Sook, in Geneva February 17, 2014.

The DPRK regime employs murder, torture, slavery, sexual violence, mass starvation and other abhorrent actions against its own people.

The United Nations Commission of Inquiry, or COI, on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea released a comprehensive and detailed report on the widespread, systematic human rights violations committed by the North Korean government. According to the report, the DPRK regime employs murder, torture, slavery, sexual violence, mass starvation and other abhorrent actions against its own people. The regime also employs enforced disappearances, relying heavily on exile to prison camps as a tool to prop up the state and terrorize the population into submission.


The UN COI released its 400-page report after hearing from more than 320 witnesses in public hearings and private interviews conducted in capitals around the world. It concluded that the North Korean regime “does not content itself with ensuring the authoritarian rule of a small group of people, but seeks to dominate every aspect of its citizens’ lives and terrorizes them from within.” Throughout the COI’s investigation, the DPRK denied the COI access into the country and refused to cooperate with the investigation.

The UN commission’s report recommends the Security Council refer its findings to the International Criminal Court for possible prosecution. The COI also sent a letter warning North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that he could face prosecution for crimes against humanity.

The United States strongly welcomes and supports the final report by the UN Commission of Inquiry on North Korea and its call for accountability. The COI will present its report to the UN Human Rights Council on March 17th in Geneva. State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf said the report “provides compelling evidence of widespread, systematic, and grave human rights violations” by the DPRK regime. She added that the COI report reflects the international community’s consensus view that the human rights situation in the DPRK is “among the world’s worst.”

The United States urges North Korea to take concrete steps to improve the human rights situation for the North Korean people. The United States continues to work with its partners and international organizations to bring an end to the deplorable human rights conditions in North Korea.
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