The DPRK, otherwise known as North Korea, is widely viewed by the international community as one of the world’s most repressed societies. Despite signing
five international human rights treaties as well as outlining rights protection in its constitution and even since the accession to power of a new leader, there has been no sign of improvement to the country’s human rights record. In the DPRK rights are conditional rather than universal
and collective rights take priority over individual rights. Contrary to statements in the DPRK’s extensive report submitted for this UPR in 2009, PSCORE’s eye witness accounts of life inside DPRK reveal that all 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) are regularly violated and many of the DPRK’s citizens are denied even basic fundamental rights. Defectors’ testimonies claim that torture, public executions, forced labour, death sentences for minor offenses and collective punishment for suspected crimes by an individual are all common place. Approximately, 120,0004 political prisoners are held in
“total control camps,” where hunger and abuse are common, death rates are high and inmates include children. As it is incredibly difficult for human rights defenders to gain access to the DPRK, the main source of information and evidence demonstrating human rights abuses comes from defectors and the testimonies they proffer.
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