• Jan 21, 2014
    There has been no discernible improvement in human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) since Kim Jong-Un assumed power after his father’s death in 2011. The government continues to impose totalitarian rule. In response to the systematic denial of basic freedoms in the country, the United Nations Human Rights Council unanimously established a commission of inquiry in April 2013 to investigate whether such abuses amount to crimes against humanity and who should be held accountable.
  • Jan 10, 2013
    Kim Jong-Un’s succession as North Korea’s supreme leader after the death of his father, Kim Jong-Il, in December 2011 had little impact on the country’s dire human rights record.
  • Jan 22, 2012

    The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) systematically violates the basic rights of its population. Although it has signed four key international human rights treaties and includes rights protections in its constitution, it allows no organized political opposition, free media, functioning civil society, or religious freedom. Arbitrary arrest, detention, lack of due process, and torture and ill-treatment of detainees remain serious and endemic problems. North Korea also practices collective punishment for various anti-state offenses, for which it enslaves hundreds of thousands of citizens in prison camps, including children. The government periodically publicly executes citizens for stealing state property, hoarding food, and other “anti-socialist” crimes. 

  • Jan 24, 2011
    Despite lip service to human rights in its constitution, conditions in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) remain dire. There is no organized political opposition, free media, functioning civil society, or religious freedom. Arbitrary arrest, detention, lack of due process, and torture and ill-treatment of detainees remain serious and endemic problems. North Korea also practices collective punishment for various anti-state offenses, for which it enslaves hundreds of thousands of citizens in prison camps, including children. The government periodically publicly executes citizens for stealing state property, hoarding food, and other "anti-socialist" crimes.
  • Jan 20, 2010
    In April 2009 the parliament of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) revised the country's constitution to include, among others, a provision that North Korea "respects and protects human rights." North Korea seems to be trying to improve its international image in response to continuing criticism over its poor human rights record.
  • Jan 13, 2009
    Human rights conditions in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) remain dire. There is no organized political opposition, independent labor unions, free media, or civil society. Arbitrary arrest, detention, and lack of due process remain serious concerns.
  • Jan 31, 2008
    Human rights conditions in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) remain abysmal. Authorities continue to prohibit organized political opposition, independent news media, and civil society activities. Arbitrary arrests, lack of due process, and executions remain of grave concern.
  • Jan 10, 2007
    In October 2006 the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) announced that it had conducted its first nuclear weapons test. The move led to a prompt United Nations Security Council resolution condemning the test and calling for sanctions against North Korea by member states. The nuclear detonation followed the test firing in July of seven ballistic missiles, which also led to a condemnatory Security Council resolution.
  • Jan 3, 2006
    The regime of leader Kim Jong Il, the subject of an intense personality cult, is among the world’s most repressive. North Korea (The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, DPRK) in 2005 stepped back from the previous year’s efforts and made little progress in human rights: the country’s dismal human rights conditions, including arbitrary arrests, pervasive use of torture, and lack of due process and fair trials, remain of grave concern. There is no organized political opposition, labor activism, or independent civil society. There is no freedom of information or freedom of religion. Basic services, such as access to health care and education, are provided according to a classification scheme based on the government’s assessment of an individual’s and his/her family’s political loyalty.