(Seoul) – The South Korean parliament should pass legislation on human rights in North Korea that promotes human rights protections and accountability for the most serious international human rights crimes, Human Rights Watch said.
“South Korea arguably has the greatest interest of any country in improving human rights in North Korea, yet unlike some of its allies, it has made no legislative commitment to that task,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director. “Passing this bill would ensure that human rights issues in the North are not pushed aside for political convenience on the Korean peninsula, now or in the future.”
The bill is intended to “protect and improve human rights of the North Korean people.” Lawmakers first proposed the bill in 2005, and it has been the subject of serious ideological disagreements between the conservative and progressive parliamentarians ever since. However, recent progress in negotiations on the bill between the ruling Saenuri Party and the opposition Minjoo Party offer greater hope that a compromise bill may be passed.