Following yesterday’s United Nations General Assembly resolution on human rights in North Korea, Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire said:
“I am pleased that yesterday the United Nations General Assembly 3rd Committee adopted, by consensus, a resolution on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The fact that the resolution was agreed by all UN Member States, shows that there is significant international agreement that the human rights situation in the DPRK is unacceptable and that the DPRK must take steps to address these failings.
“The resolution highlights that although we have seen some incremental progress on disability rights and the DPRK has cooperated with UNICEF and the World Health Organisation, there continue to be reports of widespread and systematic violations of human rights. These reports point to the continued use of torture and the death penalty, significant abuses in prison camps, severe punishments for people caught leaving the country illegally, and the use of collective punishment. There continue to be worrying reports of human trafficking across the DPRK border. It is right that this resolution draws attention to this issue. The resolution also highlights the obligations of all states to abide by the International Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, and calls upon the DPRK to immediately put an end to systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights.
“I hope that the new leadership in the DPRK will take efforts to engage constructively with the international community, including with the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK, and take urgent steps to improve the human rights situation in the DPRK so that it meets international human rights standards.”