For the newest information on North Korea’s political prison camps, please read the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea’s (HRNK) report, North Korea’s Hidden Gulag: Interpreting Reports of Changes in the Prison Camps, by David Hawk. It is available here.
“The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK), a US-based non-governmental organization, has launched a new report by David Hawk, updating the current status of the North Korean political prison camp system. The report was made possible by funding from the Open Society Foundations (OSF). The report confirms the closure of two of North Korea’s known six political penal labor colonies, finding “extremely high” the total number of prisoners remaining incarcerated on political grounds, reported missing and unaccounted for, and who have died in detention. The report builds on the 2012 HRNK report Hidden Gulag Second Edition by the same author, drawing on recent satellite imagery analysis, interviews with former camp prisoners and guards as well as new sources of information within North Korea.” (emphasis added)
Full press release is here.
In case you haven’t heard, the UN Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Human Rights in the DPRK is currently accepting submissions about human rights violations in North Korea. If you would like to submit evidence to assist the Commission, please read this: COI information sheet.
Additionally, the COI is currently hearing testimony from defectors on the human rights situation in North Korea. Here’s a NYTimes article featuring Shin Dong-hyuk. The Commission will reportedly be in Seoul until August 27th.
Shin Dong-hyuk attended a public hearing at Yonsei University in Seoul on Tuesday.
The Commission’s contact info:
For any query relating to the COI or to provide information relevant to its mandate, please write to: email@example.com
Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea OHCHR
United Nations Office at Geneva
CH-1211 Geneva, Switzerland
The first essay featured is, A State of Rightlessness: The Egregious Case of North Korea.
This essay steps into the relative dearth of popular and legal academic treatment to analyze this egregious state of rightlessness (an intentional neologism) and concludes with reflections upon possible judicial redress options. Experts in the human rights field have averred that the human rights situation in North Korea is the worst in the world. The North Korean government denies any human rights abuses, insisting “that ‘there is no human rigths [sic] problem in North Korea.'” This academic work challenges this outright denial by providing an analysis of various human rights abuses persisting north of the most heavily armed border in the world.
Contrary to the constant denial of the North Korean government, this essay seeks to help establish the case for this state of rightlessness, the egregious case of North Korea. It lays the foundation for a subsequent article regarding judicial redress of these gross and systematic violations of human rights. Before any need for judicial redress raises itself for consideration, the case that cries out for such a forum must receive delineation: this essay proposes to expound on the major violations of human rights in North Korea together with the context that makes such violations possible.
August 15th is a public holiday in both North and South Korea and signifies the date Korea became free from Japan. This date – August 15, 1945 – marks Japan’s surrender to the Allied forces and the end of World War II. In North Korea, Liberation Day is commonly known as Jogukhaebangui nal, whereas in South Korea it is called Gwangbokjeol.
I’m honored to have Professor Morse Tan’s articles on my blog. Stay tuned for his deeply insightful works about North Korea!
Professor Morse Tan, J.D., Northwestern University, teaches at Northern Illinois University College of Law and has published in leading law journals in his fields, including as one of the leading legal scholars on North Korea in the Western Hemisphere. He is currently working on a book with Routledge Press on the dual crises of security and human rights in North Korea.
My blog is pretty new, but I have fortunately had some inspiring blogs about North Korea to lean on. Here are a few blogs I recommend and hope to emulate – in terms of level of insight and prolificacy – someday:
The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea’s blog
North Korea: Witness to Transformation
One Free Korea
North Korea Leadership Watch
Leave me a comment if you’d like to suggest other blogs!