On April 3rd, the ICNK submitted a petition to to the United Nations calling for an investigation into the country's system of prison camps.
This independent investigation will independently collect data making it difficult for the North Korean authorities to deny the findings or accuse their investigators of political vendettas. Furthermore, the findings of this investigation will make it difficult for the world to ignore North Korea's crimes against humanity.
Toward that end, the coalition is calling on the U.N. to initiate an investigation and demand access to the gulag; outline the size and scope of the gulag system; render a conclusion that the gulag's operations constitute crimes against humanity; work with the North Korean government to initiate a process that holds perpetrators accountable and provides appropriate reparations to victims and their families; and take additional action with the full range of U.N. organs such as initiating a formal commission of inquiry to engage with North Korea about the gulag system.
To be sure, getting to that point will be a long process, with this investigation by the Human Rights Council of the U.N. just the first step. Nevertheless, it is encouraging that last week the council condemned North Korea for the first time by consensus. Frustration with Pyongyang's behavior is growing across the board, even in countries like China, which has traditionally been a North Korean ally. This petition could have a ripple effect uniting the world in an effort for real change.