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NKHR in Geneva for 19th Session of Human Rights Council
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2015-04-08 21:01:00
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In March, despite intense denunciations and requests for cooperation, the Chinese government repatriated the 30 to 31 North Koreans captured in China. The news disheartened the delegation from NKHR, which was leaving for Geneva the next day.

The delegation’s objective of the trip was to hold a NGO parallel meeting at the 19th Session of the Human Rights Council; explain the human rights situation in North Korea to UN officials and permanent missions; and request their cooperation adopting the UN resolution on the DPRK. 

On March 13, 2012, Joanna Hosaniak, the International Cooperation and Campaign Team Head briefed the room on the human rights situation in the DPRK. Concerned with worsening human rights conditions due to the regime change, Ms. Hosaniak appealed for the international community to take more interest in the issue of forced repatriation by the Chinese government. While China considers the North Koreans as illegal economic migrants, she emphasized that China must consider them refugees.

Afterward, Julie De Rivero, Director of Human Rights Watch in Geneva, requested for the international community to cooperate in swiftly organizing a UN Commission of Inquiry that could systematically investigate and record violations of human rights in the DPRK. Despite more than 10 years of work trying to improve human rights situation, DPRK Resolutions being adopted every year, and the UN Special Rapporteur’s activities, almost no improvement has been made.

Lastly, Hye Sook Kim, a survivor from the No.18 political prison camp in North Korea, talked about her experiences living there for 28 years. She testified to the human rights violations happening within the camps by explaining how she lost her grandmother, parents, husband, and brother, all inside the No. 18 political prison camp.

On March 22nd, a few days after the NKHR delegation came back from Geneva, good news unexpectedly arrived. The member countries of the 19th Human Rights Council passed the resolution on the situation of human rights in the DPRK by consensus, a very meaningful outcome for NKHR. China, Cuba, and Russia, who have traditionally opposed the resolutions and dissociated themselves from the consensus, did not exercise their right to call for a vote.

Eun-young Kim, Program Officer, International Campaign Team

Attach file#1 : Geneva.jpg