Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
as delivered by Jason Mack

Human Rights Council 37th Session
Geneva, March 12, 2018

Thank you Mr. President.

We thank the Special Rapporteur for the report on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

We remain deeply concerned about the well-being of the North Korean people, who face egregious human rights violations and abuses, including those involving extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, sexual and gender-based violence, and forced labor.  Many of these abuses are committed in the political prison camps, where an estimated 80,000 to 120,000 individuals are detained, including children and family members of the accused.

The DPRK also uses forced labor, including the export of North Korean workers, and child labor to underwrite the regime’s illicit weapons programs.  The regime bears the ultimate responsibility for the well-being of its people, and has chosen to condemn its people to human rights abuses and violations, poverty, and isolation.

Special Rapporteur Quintana, what steps can be taken to increase pressure on the DPRK government to address its human rights record and to allow international monitors, including yourself, unhindered access to detention facilities and the country’s vulnerable populations?