In theory, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has a strong legal framework protecting the rights of women and girls. It is a party to major international human rights conventions such as ICCPR, ICESCR or CEDAW (1), and has passed core laws such as the “Decree on Gender Equality”, the “Law on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Women” and the “Law on Labour Protection”, about different aspects of women’s rights. However, even if women’s rights are projected de jure, they are not de facto. A defector testifies that “The State says it guarantees rights, but after coming here to South Korea, I feel that there are too many things to even talk about. Nothing has changed. The state has a ‘mother’s day’ […] and July 30th is a ‘men-women equality day’. But there is a lot of discrimination” (2). Without the rule of law in the DPRK, changing the legislation is not enough to ensure North Korean women’s and girls’ rights. In this statement, People for Successful COrean REunification (PSCORE) exposes the abuses they keep suffering from in the DPRK, and makes recommendations to improve their lives.
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