BBI Draws Attention to the Need for Greater Attention to Disability-Based Persecution in North Korea

February 21, 2014

The UN Commission of Inquiry on human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea this week released its report in advance of its scheduled appearance before the Human Rights Council in March 2014.  The report presents findings of the Commission in respect of its mandated investigation into the systemic, widespread and grave violations of human rights in DPRK with a view to ensuing accountability for violations that may amount to crimes against humanity.  Unfortunately, the report references only in passing the human rights situation of persons with disabilities, provides no meaningful analysis or in-depth account of these abuses, and even suggests, without evidence, that things “may be improving.” It makes this claim apparently on the basis that national disability legislation  exists, notwithstanding the absence of any enforcement mechanisms and credible evidence that disability-persecution persists.  BBI is currently working with South Korea partner universities and NGOs to broaden and deepen the documentation and analysis of the human rights situation of North Koreans with Disabilities and to examine, through a disability lens, the disabling effects of human rights violations on prisoners and the vast civilian population who have limited access to food, adequate shelter and health care.

Download a copy of the UN Commission of Inquiry report here [PDF]

For more information on BBI’s North Korea Documentation Project, contact:  Janet Lord

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