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Date : January 23, 2013
Royce Lobbies Clinton for COI
   NK.UN.COI.Royce ltr12.18.12.pdf (409.3K) [12] DATE : 2013-01-23 11:14:51
Edward R. Royce, the U.S. Congressman, wrote to U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, last December urging her to support the creation of a Commission of Inquiry in to human rights abuses in North Korea. Congressman Royce has previously sponsored several bills related to human rights in North Korea including last year's North Korea Human Rights Reauthorization Act.

In the letter to the Secretary of State, Congressman Royce urged for her support in the creation of a Commission of Inquiry at the forthcoming UN Human Rights Council session taking place in March.

The Congressman describes North Korea as one of the worst human rights and humanitarian disasters on the planet. He outlined the current situation in the political prison camps by writing that approximately 200,000 inmates are currently held in these camps. He also said that approximately 400,000 had died in the camps in the last 30 years.

Agreeing with the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in North Korea's assessment that a Commission of Inquiry is necessary, Congressman Royce urged the Secretary of State to, "escalate the monitoring of North Korea's human rights records to match the regime's horrific abuses." He also said that it must be made clear that the international community know about these abuses and that the violations constitute crimes against humanity.

As the regime is not showing outward signs of improving its human rights record, the Congressman said that now is an ideal time for pursuing the regime to hold them account for their crimes against humanity. He said that now is particularly appropriate because China, Russia, and Cuba – traditional obstacles to any mechanisms for inquiry in to human rights abuses in North Korea – are not members of the UN Human Rights Council this year.

The Congressman concludes by saying that it is imperative that the regime knows that the world is watching and acknowledging the crimes against humanity in North Korea.

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