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DPR Korea Urged to Take a Human Rights Measures

UN Expert Urges DPR Korea to Take a Range of Measures on Human Rights

New York, Nov 10 2005 1:00PM

In the effort to improve the human rights situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), a rights expert today urged Pyongyang to invite him and other United Nations-mandated personnel to visit the country.

Vitit Muntarbhorn, the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Commission on the situation in the DPRK, made his comments in Seoul as he wrapped up a weeklong visit to the Republic of Korea aimed at assessing not only the situation in DPRK but also its effects on its southern neighbour.

Mr. Muntarbhorn recalled that while he strongly wished to visit the DPRK and has sought access to the country several times, the Government has, to date, declined to invite him into the country.

Pending a first-hand view of the situation in the DPRK, Mr. Muntarbhorn called upon the DPRK "to end the various discrepancies and transgressions concerning respect for human rights in the civil, political, economic, social and cultural fields in the country, and to implement effectively the human rights treaties to which it is a party."

For that purpose, he invited the country to engage in cooperative activities with the international community such as economic programmes with a human rights component and rule of law programmes involving training for law enforcement personnel in the interest of respecting civil liberties and reforming the prison system.

In regard to the Republic of Korea, he commended the assistance given by that country to resettle refugees from the north, and encouraged it and the international community to continue humanitarian aid, including food aid, to the DPRK, which was urged to facilitate access to the assistance.

Welcoming the warming of relations between the Republic of Korea and the DPRK in the spirit of Inter-Korean dialogue, he encouraged the two countries to maximize family reunion opportunities and urged the DPRK to resolve the longstanding problem of missing persons.

Special Rapporteurs are unpaid experts serving in an independent personal capacity who receive their mandate from the UN Commission on Human Rights and report back to it.


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