When nations are reviewed by the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR), it is customary that they identify which recommendations they accept or reject during the HRC session that follows the UPR and formally adopts the report. But North Korea did so only this week, 4.5 years later, ahead of its scheduled review today. Regrettably, it rejected all meaningful recommendations. These include:
• Cooperate with all UN special rapporteurs, including the rapporteurs on freedom of religion or belief, right to food, violence against women and torture.
• Provide unlimited access to ICRC to all detention facilities in the country.
• Decriminalize unauthorized travel.
Recommendations that were rejected on the ground in December 2009 include:
• Grant access, as a matter of priority, to the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in North Korea.
• Abolishing the death penalty, end all public and extrajudicial executions, practice of arbitrary detention and torture.
• Put an end to kidnapping and enforced disappearance of persons, whatever their country of origin.
• End collective punishment of families, especially against children.
• Put an end to forced labour practices.
• Ensure an independent judicial system and the individual’s right to a fair trial.
• Release all political prisoners, persons detained for reasons related to their opinions or peaceful political activities, and members of their family.
• Put an end to the practice of incarcerating all the members of the family of every opposition figure.
• Allow freedom of movement of its citizens within and across the border and end the punishment of those expelled or returned from abroad, including refugees and asylum-seekers.