Australian statement for the Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), 10 March 2021
Human Rights Council – 46th session
Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)
09 March 2021
We thank the Special Rapporteur for his sobering update.
Australia remains deeply concerned by the widespread human rights violations occurring in the DPRK.
It is appalling that in the seven years since the 2014 Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the DPRK found that violations perpetrated by the DPRK Government constituted crimes against humanity little has changed. We find ongoing reports of summary executions, torture, arbitrary detention, forced labour and sexual violence against women and girls abhorrent.
Improving the lives of its citizens should be the DPRK Government’s highest priority especially in the face of recent natural disasters and the impacts of COVID-19. Instead, the regime’s focus remains on developing weapons of mass destruction and the vehicles for delivering them.
We again call on the Government to respect the human rights of all individuals in the DPRK, make a sustained effort to engage with international human rights mechanisms – including permitting the Special Rapporteur to visit – and abandon its WMD programs.