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Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea Sends Public Letter to the United Nations Regarding the Forced Repatriation of North Korean Defectors Residing in China
Date : 2023.11.28 15:08:18 Hits : 366

Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea Sends Public Letter to the United Nations Regarding the Forced Repatriation of North Korean Defectors Residing in China


- NHRCK, sends a letter requesting active involvement and cooperation to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in the DPRK and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights-


The chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea (Song Doo-hwan) expresses deep regret and concern over the recent resumption of the forced repatriation of North Korean defectors from China, which had been halted by the closure of the border between North Korea and China during the pandemic, and calls for the active cooperation of the international community to ensure that this act against humanity is stopped.


The Commission sent the letter to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK on October 26. This action was prompted by continuing media reports of forced repatriation after the conclusion of the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 and confirmation from the Government of the Republic of Korea (Ministry of Unification). Although no response was received to the letter sent to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on September 13, requesting further active involvement and cooperation of the United Nations in suspending the forced repatriation of North Korean defectors residing in China.


 In this letter, the NRHCK called for the active involvement of the international community in addressing the issue of forced repatriation of North Korean defectors residing in China. Specifically, the NHRCK urged that this issue be highlighted during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) for China (45th UN Human Rights Council, January 22 - February 2, 2024) and North Korea (47th UN Human Rights Council, November 4 - 15, 2024). In addition, the NHRCK stressed the importance of including this issue in the report submitted by the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK to the UN Human Rights Council.


It is widely known that North Korean defectors face cruel and severe conditions, including the risk of torture or execution, upon repatriation to North Korea. The international community must work together to protect the human rights of North Korean defectors, emphasizing human rights as an overriding value above politics, economics and ideology.

 

The NHRCK expresses the hope that the government of the Republic of Korea and the international community will actively seek to suspend the forced repatriation of North Korean defectors residing in China and urges efforts to protect the lives and safety of North Korean defectors who have already been repatriated.

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