Why was North Korea accused of violating Human Rights?

Democracy Dec 27, 2020

Violation of human rights in North Korea :-

  • The human rights violation issue in North Korea is often considered to be the worst in the world. North Korea has been  globally convicted, with the United Nations and European Union. North Korea has been criticized by groups like  the Human Rights Watch. The General Assembly of the United Nations made a resolution of condemning North Korea's human rights record.
  • According to reports given by the U.S. Committee for human rights in 2017, an estimated 2,00,000 prisoners were incarcerated in camps which are subjected to political crimes, forced labour and execution. Due to governments regulations, citizens cannot freely leave the country.
  • The records which were created and presented at the United Nations have been constructed by the testimonies and   stories of refugees and defectors. On 6th May 2013, the United Nations Human Rights Council appointed members for an inquiry commission on human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The accusations made on North Korea at United Nations amidst pandemic :-

  • On 11th December 2020 Friday, the United Nations Security Council discussed the human rights violations in North Korea after the seven members of the United Nations including Germany, Britain, France, Belgium, Estonia, the United States and the Dominican Republic brought up the issue in a closed door virtual meeting.
  • North Korea’s official name is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The members of seven countries condemned its actions, saying that "The DPRK’s human rights violations pose an imminent threat to international peace and security. The DPRK government diverts resources away from its people to its illicit ballistic missile and nuclear programs.”
  • German U.N. Ambassador Christoph Heusgen said that, "The government’s decision to prioritize its weapons programs over the needs of its people and their isolation from the international community, is inevitably worsening the impacts of the pandemic on the North Korean population."
  • In North Korea's defense, officials repeatedly rejected accusations of human rights abuses and blames sanctions for a dire humanitarian situation. Pyongyang has been under U.N. sanctions since 2006 over its ballistic missiles and nuclear programs.

Pandemic Condition in North Korea :-

  • When the coronavirus began to spread in January, North Korea sealed off its border with China, its largest trade partner and aid benefactor. Dictator Kim Jong Un's government claims there hasn't been a single coronavirus case on North Korean soil.
  • In november,  south Korean intelligence reported that Kim had ordered lockdowns in Pyongyang and ordered two executions A doctor who defected from North Korea in 2012 told a investigative team that "of course people in North Korea have died of coronavirus. The health care system is very weak. They don't want to show that to the world. North Korea is a museum of viruses."
  • The North Korean state-run media has been reporting a lot about the pandemic. daily updates with headlines like  "Measures against the epidemic further strengthened," "Nationwide campaign against the epidemic intensified," "Fast action to tackle the epidemic" bombarded that the state is doing everything possible to protect the population.
  • In the end of 2020, the country has repeatedly denied allegations of human rights abuses and says international sanctions which it’s been under since 2006 because of its nuclear weapons program are to blame for often dire conditions in the country.

This article has been written by Atharva Budrukkar for The Paradigm

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