THE UPR WORKING GROUP SIXTH SESSION
Consideration of UPR Reports
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
Delivered by Ambassador Robert King
As prepared for delivery
Thank you, Mr. President.
The United States is pleased the DPRK delegation is participating in this session and hopes this marks an opportunity to begin a greater dialogue with DPRK officials on human rights issues.
The United States remains deeply concerned by the reports of human rights abuses committed in the DPRK, including allegations of extrajudicial execution, torture, and systemic deprivation of due process in prisons, labor camps, and other institutions where international standards are not met. The lack of remedies or transparent accountability in dealing with allegations of abuse makes it difficult for foreign governments to accurately assess the human rights situation in the DPRK. What kind of independent monitoring system does the DPRK have in place to ensure that victims’ rights are protected?
The United States recommends that the DPRK create a National Human Rights Institution and to seek accreditation from the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights. With the recent inclusion of human rights in the DPRK constitution and as noted in the DPRK’s report, the DPRK has made formal commitments to cooperate with international human rights bodies and to constructive dialogue. The United States recommends that the DPRK accept technical assistance from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in setting up this national institution and urges the DPRK to grant access to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the DPRK.
The United States remains deeply concerned by reports of forced labor, often involving individuals in detention and children. What efforts has the DPRK undertaken to stop the practice of forced labor in detention and to cease government mobilization projects that often involve children?
The United States recommends that the DPRK join the International Labor Organization and ratify core conventions, particularly, the Abolition of Forced Labor Convention (No. 105), the Worst Form of Child Labor Convention (No. 182) and the Minimum Age for Admission to Employment Convention (No. 138); and to allow related monitoring by ILO staff. The United States recommends that the DPRK take immediate action to cease the practice of forced labor, including in detention facilities, and take urgent measures to ensure that children are not forced to participate in mobilization projects.
The United States remains concerned about reports of violence against women, what is the DPRK doing to reduce such incidents?
The United States recommends that the DPRK implement regulations to protect women from torture and abuse in detention facilities, and that female criminal offenders be held separately from men and guarded by female guards. The United States recommends that the DPRK invite the Special Rapporteur for Violence against Women and the Special Rapporteur on Torture to visit the country and provide more extensive recommendations. The United States further recommends that the DPRK pass legislation specifically dealing with violence against women, including domestic violence, which should provide for prosecution of individuals committing acts of violence against women. Finally, the United States recommends that the DPRK create a government task force to create protection programs, provide resources for recovery, and to promote prevention through education and media campaigns.