[JURIST] Japan and the EU have circulated a draft UN resolution condemning North Korea’s human rights abuses and encouraging the UN Security Council to refer the country to the International Criminal Court [official website], the Associated Press reported [AP report] Friday. The resolution notes reports of torture, limits on freedom of mobility, restrictions on freedom of speech, restrictions on freedom of religion, privacy infringement, arbitrary imprisonment, prison camps and more. The draft resolution states that North Korea should end all current human rights abuses, close prison camps, and address reasons for citizens fleeing the country. The General Assembly is expected to vote on the resolution in December.
Concerns about human rights violations in North Korea have persisted for years. Last week UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in North Korea Marzuki Darusman expressed deep concerns [JURIST report] regarding human rights violations in the country. In April North Korean leader Kim Jong-un [BBC profile] reportedly ordered the execution [JURIST report] of 15 state officials. Last November Darusman said that there is enough evidence to hold Kim responsible for “massive” human rights atrocities [JURIST report] committed in the country. In response to these concerns, the UN in June opened a new office [JURIST report] in Seoul to specifically monitor human rights in North Korea.