Human Rights Council – 22nd Regular Session
Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
11 March 2013
Australia welcomes this opportunity to reiterate our strong support for the important mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and to deplore the appalling state of human rights in the DPRK.
Australia takes every opportunity to raise human rights bilaterally with the DPRK and we strongly endorse the view of the High Commissioner and the Special Rapporteur that there is a need to establish an inquiry mechanism to “investigate and more fully document the grave, systematic and widespread violations of human rights” in the DPRK.
We urge the DPRK to follow the Special Rapporteur’s recommendations, including those on the reunion of separated families; the repatriation of abducted South Korean and Japanese nationals; the importance of admitting the Special Rapporteur to the DPRK; and the repeal of laws that allow for arbitrary decisions by authorities, including on the death penalty.
Australia is deeply troubled by the persisting deterioration in the human rights situation in the DPRK, as highlighted by the nine patterns of human rights violations identified in the Special Rapporteur’s report. The prevalence of hunger and malnutrition in the DPRK, the denial of other basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as the appalling conditions in prison camps, are of particular concern to us.
Despite the many challenges of engaging with the DPRK on these issues, we remain firmly committed to pursuing improvements in the human rights situation in the DPRK.