• Kim Jong-Un’s succession as North Korea’s supreme leader after the death of his father, Kim Jong-Il, has had no positive impact on the country’s dire human rights record. More than 200,000 North Koreans, including children, are imprisoned in camps where many perish from forced labor, inadequate food, and abuse by guards. Arbitrary arrest, lack of due process, and torture are pervasive problems. There is no independent media, functioning civil society, or religious freedom. Government policies have continually subjected North Koreans to food shortages and famine. Human Rights Watch is pressing for a UN commission of inquiry to investigate possible crimes against humanity in North Korea.

    Read more on human rights in North Korea. >>

  • Michael Kirby, Chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea holds a copy of his report during a news conference at the United Nations in Geneva on February 17, 2014.
    Dynastic North Korea Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un and senior members of his government should be held accountable for overseeing grave rights abuses and crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2015.

Reports

North Korea

  • Apr 13, 2015
    Kim Il-Sung should be remembered as North Koreans mark his birthday on April 15, 2015, for creating a state characterized by rights violations and crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch said today. During his 46 years of rule, Kim established an authoritarian government that annihilated civil and political rights, purged and persecuted dissidents, and created a personality cult that compelled absolute obedience to him.
  • Mar 16, 2015
  • Feb 13, 2015
    North Korea’s so-called dear leader, Kim Jong-Il, should be remembered as his country celebrates his birthday on February 16, 2015, for presiding over one of the world’s most brutal and repressive governments, Human Rights Watch said today. During his 17 years of rule, Kim presided over the country’s worst famine and oversaw systematic crimes against humanity against his own people.
  • Feb 9, 2015
    North Korea is expanding efforts to control its borders and reduce information flows in and out of the country by harshly punishing people trying to flee the country, and hitting those aiding them with harsher sentences.
  • Jan 29, 2015
    Dynastic North Korea Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un and senior members of his government should be held accountable for overseeing grave rights abuses and crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2015.
  • Jan 6, 2015
    Birthday celebrations planned on January 8 for North Korea’s dynastic supreme leader Kim Jong-Un contrast sharply with severe human rights violations throughout the country.
  • Dec 19, 2014
    Sony Pictures’ film The Interview, a comedy featuring actors Seth Rogen and James Franco as journalists recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un, has certainly left a raft of disasters in its wake.
  • Dec 19, 2014
    The International Coalition to Stop Crimes against Humanity in North Korea (ICNK), consisting of over 40 human rights groups from around the world, wholeheartedly welcomed the passage of the UN General Assembly resolution on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which was adopted by a vote of 116 for, and 20 against, with 53 abstaining on the December 18, 2014.
  • Dec 16, 2014
    On the third anniversary of his death, former North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Il should be remembered for presiding over systematic crimes against humanity against his own people, including a catastrophic famine, Human Rights Watch said today. Kim Jong-Il held power for a total of 17 years as head of one of the most closed and repressive governments in the world.
  • Dec 10, 2014