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North Korea / Human rights: UN Expert

North Korea / Human rights: UN Expert in fact-finding mission to Seoul

GENEVA / SEOUL (14 July 2017) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Tomás OJEA QUINTANA, will visit Seoul from 17 to 21 July.

Since his appointment by the UN Human Rights Council in March 2016, the Special Rapporteur has not been granted access to the DPRK, despite the requests made. As part of his efforts to gather information on the situation of human rights in the DPRK, Mr. OJEA QUINTANA has previously visited Japan and the Republic of Korea, in November 2016.

“With the new administration in the Republic of Korea now in place, the purpose of my mission is to hear from them about the new policies vis-à-vis the DPRK, and to collect first-hand information on human rights from various sources, including people who have recently left the country,” said the independent expert.

“My visit comes in the context of intensified hostilities in the region and with that, increased international scrutiny, including from the UN Security Council,” the expert added.

“Human rights are obviously under threat as tension rises and efforts to promote dialogue must address human rights concerns. It is part of my mandate to remind Governments of this important principle,” he underscored.

During the five-day mission, the Special Rapporteur is expected to meet with senior members of the Government as well as the representatives of the civil society and other stakeholders.

Mr. OJEA QUINTANA will hold a press conference on 21 July, from 14:00-15:00 (local time) in Seoul. Further details to be announced locally. Access to the press conferences is strictly limited to journalists.

The Special Rapporteur will report his findings and recommendations to the General Assembly in October 2017.


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