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Date : December 19, 2014
ICNK Welcomes the Resolution on the Human Rights Situation in NK

ICNK Welcomes the Resolution on the Human Rights Situation in the DPRK

(New York, December 19, 2014) The International Coalition to Stop Crimes against Humanity in North Korea (ICNK), consisting of over 40 human rights groups from around the world, wholeheartedly welcomed the passage of the UN General Assembly resolution on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which was adopted by a vote of 116 for, and 20 against, with 53 abstaining on the December 18, 2014. 

ICNK believes that the resolution will pave a new path to the improvement of the people’s rights and help end the systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights in the DPRK. 

Through the resolution, the United Nations and international community express their serious concern regarding several kinds of human rights abuses including findings indicated by the Commission of Inquiry’s comprehensive report: (a) violations of the freedoms of thought, __EXPRESSION__ and religion; (b) discrimination on the basis of state-assigned social class (songbun), gender and disability; (c) violations of the freedom of movement and residence; (d) violations of the right to food; (e) arbitrary detention, torture, executions, enforced disappearance and political prison camps; and (f) enforced disappearance of persons from other countries, including by means of abduction. 

Adopting the resolution with the acknowledgment that “crimes against humanity have been committed in the DPRK, pursuant to policies established at the highest level of the State for decades” means international recognition of the need for UN Security Council engagement on the human rights situation in the DPRK. 

Therefore, the resolution encourages the Security Council to take “appropriate action to ensure accountability, including through consideration of referral of the situation in the DPRK to the International Criminal Court.” 
In alignment with the letter signed by ten UN representatives and sent to the president of the Security Council on December 5, ICNK believes that this is a situation that the Security Council should place on its agenda.  

In addition, Benedict Rogers, East Asia Team Leader of Christian Solidarity Worldwide, added that, “The UN mechanisms and member states should sincerely accept the recommendations of the resolution and the commission of inquiry’s report, so that the relevant actions can be taken to cut the chain of impunity for human rights violations perpetrated by the ‘highest level of the state’ and to save innocent victims of crimes against humanity in North Korea.”

Phil Robertson, Deputy Director of the Asia Division at Human Rights Watch, said that, “With this resolution, the UN member states and the international community have committed themselves to ensuring justice is delivered for the North Korean people’s past suffering and their rights and dignity protected going forward. Now the ball is now in the UN Security Council’s court.”

For more information, please contact:

In Seoul: Eunkyoung Kwon, Open Radio for North Korea & Secretariat to the Coalition (Korean, English): +82-10-4508-8815 (mobile); or kekyoung@gmail.com
In Tokyo: Kanae Doi, Human Rights Watch (Japanese, English): 03-5282-5162; 090-2301-4372 (mobile); or doik@hrw.org
In London: Benedict Rogers, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (English): +44-7919-030575; or ben@csw.org.uk
In Bangkok: Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch (English, Thai): +66-85-060-8406 (mobile); or robertp@hrw.org

The International Coalition to Stop Crimes against Humanity in North Korea is a joint effort of over 40 human rights groups worldwide that seeks to protect the human rights of North Koreans and to hold the Pyongyang government accountable for its abuses and violations of the human rights of the North Korean people.

Members and supporters of the Coalition include:
Advocates International Global Council
Amnesty International
Asia Justice and Rights
Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances
Asian Human Rights & Humanity Association of Japan
Burma Partnership (Thailand)
Christian Lawyers Association for Paraguay
Christian Solidarity Worldwide
Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (USA)
Conectas (Brazil)
Council for Human Rights in North Korea (Canada)
Freedom House (USA)
NK Watch (ROK)
Free North Korea Radio (ROK)
Han Voice (Canada)
HH Katacombs (ROK)
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Without Frontiers (Belgium)
Inter-American Federation of Christian Lawyers
International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
COMJAN (Investigation Commission on Missing Japanese Probably Related to North Korea)(Japan)
Japanese Lawyers Association for Abduction and Other Human Rights Issues in North Korea
Jubilee Campaign (USA)
Justice for North Korea (ROK)
Kontras (Indonesia)
Liberty in North Korea - LiNK (USA)
Life Funds for North Korean Refugees (Japan)
Network for North Korean Democracy and Human Rights (ROK)
NK Intellectual Solidarity (ROK)
No Fence (Japan)
North Korea Freedom Coalition
Odhikar (Bangladesh)
Open North Korea (ROK)
People In Need (Czech Republic)
PSALT NK (Prayer Service Action Love Truth for North Korea)
The Simon Wiesenthal Center (USA)
The Society to Help Returnees to North Korea (Japan)
Students Alliance for Human Rights in North Korea (ROK)
World Without Genocide (USA)
Young Defectors' Alliance for North Korean Human Rights (ROK)
Yuki Akimoto, Burmainfo (Japan)
Tomoharu Ebihara
David Hawk, Visiting Scholar, Columbia University, Institute for the Study of Human Rights, and author of Hidden Gulag
Ken Kato, Director, Human Rights in Asia (Japan)
Tomoyuki Kawazoe, Representative, Kanagawa Association for The Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea / Member, Reporters Without Borders
Suzanne Scholte, Seoul Peace Prize Recipient & Defense Forum Foundation (USA)
Dr. Norbert Vollertsen

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