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Hundreds of Thousands Prevented from Returning to Japan

An historic court hearing is set to begin next week in Tokyo as five North Korean escapees in Japan seek compensation for human rights abuses they suffered in North Korea after joining a resettlement program based on the false premise that North Korea…
Escapees from North Korea and their supporters march to the Tokyo District Court to file a lawsuit against the North Korean government for violating their human rights, August 20, 2018. 
News

Expands Demands of Work to Shore Up Flagging Economy

North Korea’s economy has taken a hit as the country’s borders remain sealed during the Covid-19 pandemic. This week, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un expressed appreciation to the country’s youth for “volunteering” to do hard labor to compensate for “…
2021년 5월 25일 평양의 락랑구역에서 농부들이 벼를 심고 있다. ©2021 전철진/AP
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At Least 1,170 North Koreans Face Torture, Sexual Abuse if Sent Back

For months, North Koreans living in South Korea who have relatives detained in China have been imploring government officials, foreign diplomats, United Nations agencies, and others for help. They hope international pressure can dissuade Chinese…
Photos of the North Korean refugees helped by the North Korea Refugees Human Rights Association of Korea are displayed in Seoul, South Korea on June 11, 2019.
News

Decree Allows for Third Gender Option in Identification Documents

Starting July 21, 2021, Argentina’s National Identity Document and passports now include a third gender category, “X,” allowing people to choose to be designated other than female or male. The move makes Argentina the first country in Latin America to…
President Alberto Fernández (center) with other authorities and members of social organizations, form an 'X', at the Bicentennial Museum in Casa Rosada, Buenos Aires, Argentina, on July 21, 2021
News

Pyongyang Blames Problems on Everything but Own Abusive Policies

  Hypocrisy is commonplace at the United Nations. Delegates routinely stand at UN podiums and blame everyone and everything but their own governments for their countries’ problems. North Korea took this practice to new level on Tuesday at a…
Visitors pay homage to the late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il ahead of the 27th anniversary of the death of Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang, North Korea, on July 7, 2021. 
News

Border to Remain Closed, Blocking Essential Trade and Food

Kim Jong Un made an extraordinary admission this week about North Korea’s food crisis, warning the situation is “getting tense,” in part as a result of damage from typhoons and floods last year. Kim’s surprising admission follows his call in April…
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during a Workers' Party meeting in Pyongyang, North Korea, Tuesday, June 15, 2021. 
News

Nutrition Aid is Essential to Address Food Insecurity, Malnutrition

On April 19, the World Food Program (WFP), the United Nations’ food assistance branch, announced it had reached an agreement with the Nicolás Maduro government, after over a year of negotiations, to deploy in Venezuela to supply food to young children…
A girl reaches for a tangerine at a soup kitchen in Petare, Venezuela, February 27, 2020. 
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Kim Jong Un May Be Tightening Already Firm Grip on Power

Speaking at a ruling Workers’ Party of Korea conference on Thursday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was surprisingly candid about the country’s dire economic situation, calling on the country to “wage another more difficult ‘Arduous March’” – a…
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un delivers a closing speech at the Sixth Conference of Cell Secretaries of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang, North Korea, April 8, 2021. 
News

UN Human Rights Council Should Press for Accountability

Last week, the United Nations published a new report concluding that the North Korean government continues to commit rights violations that may amount to crimes against humanity. The report, by the UN Office of the High…
A North Korean soldier stands guard at the entrance of a women’s prison near Chongsong, North Korea, May 31, 2009.
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Lethal Force at Border Needs to Comply with Human Rights Law

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, North Korea has locked down and created buffer zones on its borders, preventing citizens from transiting without tightly regulated permission from the government. North Korea-focused media outlets have…
A North Korean flag flutters in the wind at a military guard post seen from the South Korean city of Paju, at the border with North Korea, May 3, 2020. 
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Migrants Held for Months in Dangerous Conditions Amid Pandemic

Since May, Venezuelan migrants detained in a detention facility administered by Aruba’s coast guard, the Guarda Nos Costa (GNC), have participated in four protests asking to be returned to Venezuela. To understand why anyone amid the Covid-19…
A photo showing the outside of a Guarda Nos Costa (GNC) immigration detention center in Aruba.
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Kim Jong Un Announces Rare Workers’ Party Congress

On August 20, Kim Jong Un offered a rare public acknowledgement of several crises North Korea is currently facing. Citing “severe internal and external situations” and “unexpected … challenges,” he conceded government failures to improve the country’s…
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during a plenary meeting of the Workers’ Party in Pyongyang, North Korea, August 19, 2020. 
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Leaders Should Renew Commitment to Addressing North Korea’s Rights Violations

The world has lost a champion of compassion and perseverance. Shigeru Yogota died on June 5 at the age of 87. Along with his wife Sakie, Shigeru worked tirelessly for decades for the return of their daughter Megumi, whom North Korean agents…
An April, 2005 photo shows Shigeru Yokota and his wife Sakie at a meeting in Tokyo to demand North Korean abductees' return.
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Government Failure to Address Chronically Dire Prison Conditions

The events in which at least 47 people died and 75 were injured on May 1st in Venezuela’s Los Llanos prison in Guanare, Portuguesa state are an alarming reminder of the awful prison conditions that Venezuela has historically failed to address.…
Prisoners stand on the roof of the "Reten de Cabimas" detention center to demand prison guards let their families, below, enter with food on visitor day in Cabimas, Venezuela, November 17, 2019.
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Information Lockdown a Reminder of Continuing Abuses

The rumor mill around North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s health has been churning for weeks. Speculation first began on April 15, when Kim was absent during celebrations of his grandfather’s birthday, North Korea’s biggest holiday. The…
202001Asia_NorthKorea_WR
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On World Water Day, Marginalized Populations Still Lack Access to Basic Hygiene Measures

  Today is World Water Day, but as the world braces for the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is little to celebrate. The need for good hygiene like handwashing is key to protecting public health and responding to the virus.…
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Trump Administration Again Blocks UN Meeting on Abuses

For the second year in a row, the United States has prevented the United Nations Security Council from scrutinizing North Korea’s abysmal human rights record, sending a clear message to Pyongyang and other abusive governments that the…
The UN Security Council holds a meeting on November 20, 2019, at United Nations headquarters in New York.
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Decision Based on Reports of Severe Human Rights Abuses in Venezuela

On December 5, Brazil’s refugee agency (CONARE) granted asylum to 21,432 Venezuelans . Until then, CONARE had granted asylum to a total of just 263. There are currently 224,000 Venezuelans living in Brazil. In June, CONARE…
Venezuelan children play in a refugee shelter in Boa Vista, Roraima state, Brazil, August 26, 2018.
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UN Security Council Should Confront Atrocious Rights Record

The United Nations Security Council has an opportunity this month to refocus attention on North Korea’s abysmal human rights record after giving it a pass last year. If all goes according to plan, on December 10 – Human…
Kim Jong-Un watches a performance in Pyongyang, North Korea, on February 23, 2017.
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UN Human Rights Council Should Create an Independent Fact-Finding Mission

The Venezuelan government is trying hard to convince the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) members that it is committed to working with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and High Commissioner…
Riot police clash with anti-government demonstrators in the neighborhood of Los Mecedores, in Caracas, on January 21, 2019.