The United Nations Human Rights Council on Apr. 1 adopted a resolution on North Korean human rights abuses, condemning “in the strongest terms” the widespread and gross human rights violations in the hermit nation.
This marks the 20th consecutive year the U.N. has adopted a resolution on the North Korean human rights situation, according to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency (YNA).
The resolution stated that the U.N. “condemns in the strongest terms the long-standing and ongoing systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations in the state.”
It urged North Korea to cooperate with the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) Facility and other relevant organizations to allow vaccine delivery and distribution to its people, noting that the humanitarian situation has been exacerbated by the pandemic.
The resolution also called on North Korea to immediately halt human rights violations in detention facilities, including prison camps, release all political prisoners, and cease the arbitrary and summary execution of persons in custody.
The London-based non-profit Korea Future released the North Korean prison database on March 27, which identified 597 perpetrators linked to over 5,000 human rights violations in North Korea’s penal system.
“At their most brutal, these violations amounted to severe physical assault, including corporal punishment (452 cases) and positional torture (321 cases). At their most cruel, acts perpetrated against detainees included forced abortions (35 cases),” Korea Future stated in its report.
It stated that the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, led by Kim Jong Un, was responsible for the country’s “gross violations of international human rights law” resulting from the failure to meet its legal obligations to detainees in the penal system.
Meanwhile, the U.N. also urged the North Korean authorities to resolve the issue of abducted or forcibly disappearing people by assuring their immediate return.
“The council further urges the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to extend an invitation to the Office of the High Commissioner to visit the country,” it added, referring to North Korea’s official name.