Norway extends its thanks to the Special Rapporteur for his report on the human rights situation in the DPRK. We share his grave concerns regarding the continued, long-standing and ongoing systematic and widespread human rights violations in DPRK. We are particularly concerned regarding the situation reported from political prison camps and regarding comprehensive restrictions on access to information. Norway also supports the call by the Special Rapporteur on Member States who host workers from the DPRK and companies that employ them, to exercise due diligence and put in place specific measures to ensure that international labour and human rights standards are upheld.
We welcome the report by the Group of Independent Experts with its comprehensive approach, recommending international and national engagement, reform and immediate steps to end gross human rights violations.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Human Rights are platforms of common obligations for all States Parties. We appreciate DPRKs engagement in its Universal Periodic Review in May 2014 and its ratification of the Convention on the Rights of persons with disabilities in December. All are gateways to capacity building and improving the human rights of its people.
We call on the DPRK to take meaningful and measurable steps to follow up these obligations, including recommendations and resolutions that enjoy a wide support in this Council. The OHCHR‘s field based structure can play a positive role, as can engagement with other UN mechanisms and with member states. We share the view that the best way to overcome allegedly distorted information is through engagement. In particular, we urge the DPRK to facilitate visits by the Special Rapporteur and other thematic special procedures, including in the area of economic, social and cultural rights.
In this regard, we would appreciate comments by the Special Rapporteur on how the deepened isolation of DPRK can impact the human rights situation in the country, including for those in need of humanitarian assistance.