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UN committee condemns North Korea rights violations

The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) [official website] of the UN General Assembly on Thursday adopted [press release] a resolution detailing its concerns with human rights violations in North Korea [JURIST news archive]. Passed 100-18 with 60 abstentions, the resolution [materials] takes issue with "[t]he persistence of continuing reports of systematic, widespread and grave violations of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea." The resolution proceeds to the General Assembly, which is expected to approve [AP report] the document. Also Thursday, the committee adopted resolutions condemning human rights violations in Iran and Myanmar [JURIST news archives].

In March, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] adopted a similar resolution [materials; JURIST report] condemning North Korea for human rights violations. The resolution came shortly after former Special Rapporteur Vitit Muntarbhorn presented a report [JURIST report] to the body that found the situation in North Korea was deteriorating and that sanctions had not improved human rights conditions. Last year, Muntarbhorn criticized [JURIST report] North Korea, saying the country was responsible for a broad range of human rights violations [press release], including torture, public executions and widespread hunger. Muntarbhorn told the UNHRC in March 2009 that he found egregious human rights violations [JURIST report] in North Korea.

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