Human Rights Council 49th Session.
Item 4 - Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Statement delivered by Ambassador Tine Mørch Smith, Permanent Representative of Norway on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries
(Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden)
Check against delivery
21 March 2022
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries.
We thank the Special Rapporteur for his report on the human rights situation in DPRK.
We share the grave concern expressed in the report regarding the continued, systematic, and widespread human rights violations, and the lack of effort by the DPRK authorities to improve the situation.
We also share the Special Rapporteur’s deep concern over the DPRK’s coercive system of governance and the existence of political prison camps (kwanliso) which deprives the fundamental freedoms of its population. We urge the DPRK to dismantle the kwanliso, and to end the use of arbitrary arrest and detention, as well as the practice of forced labour.
The DPRK’s prolonged and strict COVID-19 measures have exacerbated an already critical humanitarian and human rights situation in the country. It is vital that the DPRK reviews its COVID-19 measures, engages with the international community to ensure full vaccination for the entire population, and facilitates unimpeded access for humanitarian agencies providing critical assistance.
Finally, we call on the DPRK to cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur, and to engage with the UN human rights mechanisms.