21st of March 2013 – 22nd session UNHRC: FIDH welcomes the establishment of a UN Commission of Inquiry to investigate the systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights in North Korea.

The International Coalition to Stop Crimes against Humanity in North Korea (ICNK), to which FIDH belongs, has campaigned since its foundation for the establishment of such a commission of inquiry (COI). This is both a historical step towards ensuring accountability for human rights abuses in North Korea and a critical turning point in international efforts to promote and improve North Korean human rights.

ICNK appreciates Japan’s crucial early role in persuading other key countries, including member states of the EU, South Korea, and the USA to support the creation of this COI that will have a mandate to “investigate all systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.” The resolution (A/HRC/22/L.19) made particular note of “the use of torture and labour camps against political prisoners and repatriated citizens of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” and “the unresolved questions of international concern relating to abductions of nationals of other states.”

ICNK firmly believes that the establishment of a COI represents a great opportunity to initiate a process aiming not only at the promotion but also at the protection of human rights in North Korea and look forward to working with the commissioners. The Council requests the COI to present an oral update to the Council at its twenty-fourth session and to the General Assembly at its sixty-eight session, and a written report to the Council at its twenty-fifth session.

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