Explanation of Position on a Third Committee Resolution the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Kara Eyrich
U.S. Adviser for the Third Committee
New York, New York
November 15, 2023


Thank you Chair.

Ten years after the creation of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the DPRK, the situation remains dire.

The DPRK is one of the world’s most repressive states, imposing severe restrictions on freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly, association, religion or belief, and movement. There are credible reports of unlawful or arbitrary killings by the government; forced disappearances; torture and other forms of cruel, inhumane, and degrading punishment; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions, including in political prison camps; forced abortion and sterilization; and the worst forms of child labor.

The DPRK continues to commit widespread human rights abuses and violations, and as with many authoritarian governments, it continues to expand its repressive policies beyond its borders in the form of transnational repression.

In addition to its efforts to control and monitor North Koreans overseas, the government also exploits its overseas citizens, forcing them to work in inhumane conditions without freedom of movement, often for 18 hours a day.

These workers are often forced to send their wages back to the regime, sustaining it in power and enabling it to pursue its unlawful WMD and ballistic missile programs.

We remain deeply concerned that North Korean escapees seeking freedom from human rights violations in North Korea are being forcibly repatriated to North Korea against their will, putting them at risk of torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment and other serious human rights violation. All states should abide by the principle of non-refoulement.

The DPRK must grant international humanitarian organizations and human rights monitors immediate and unhindered access. We can and must continue to speak out loudly and clearly regarding the DPRK government’s human rights record and call upon the government to take action to protect the human rights of its own people.

For these reasons, we are proud to co-sponsor this resolution.

Thank you Chair.