US Department of State-2008 Human Rights Report: DPRK

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2008 Human Rights Report: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea*

Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

2008 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

Feb 25, 2009

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) is a persecution underneath a comprehensive sequence of Kim Jong-il, ubiquitous secretary of a Korean Workers’ Party (KWP) and supervision of a National Defense Commission (NDC), a “highest bureau of state.” The nation has an estimated race of 23.5 million. Kim’s father, a late Kim Il-sung, stays “eternal president.” Local elections reason in Jul 2007 were not giveaway or fair. There was no metropolitan control of a confidence forces, and members of a confidence army committed countless critical tellurian rights abuses.

The government’s tellurian rights record remained poor, and a regime continued to dedicate countless critical abuses. The regime subjected adults to firm controls over many aspects of their lives. Citizens did not have a right to change their government. There continued to be reports of extrajudicial killings, disappearances, capricious detention, and domestic prisoners. Prison conditions were oppressive and life threatening, and woe occurred. Pregnant womanlike prisoners underwent forced abortions in some cases, and in other cases babies were killed on birth in prisons. The law was not eccentric and did not yield satisfactory trials. Citizens were denied leisure of speech, press, assembly, and association, and a supervision attempted to control all information. The supervision singular leisure of religion, citizens’ movement, and workman rights. There continued to be reports of serious punishment of some repatriated refugees. There were widespread reports of trafficking in women and girls among refugees and workers channel a extent into China.


Section 1 Respect for a Integrity of a Person, Including Freedom From:

a. Arbitrary and Unlawful Deprivation of Life

There were countless reports that a regime committed capricious and wrong killings. Defector and interloper reports indicated that in some instances a regime executed domestic prisoners, opponents of a regime, repatriated defectors, and others. The law prescribes a genocide chastisement for a many “serious” or “grave” cases of “antistate” or “antination” crimes, including: appearance in a manoeuvre or plotting to overpower a state; acts of terrorism for an antistate purpose; treason, that includes desertion or handing over state secrets; suppressing a people’s transformation for inhabitant liberation; slicing electric energy lines or communication lines; and bootleg drug transactions.

In a past extent guards reportedly had orders to fire to kill intensity defectors, and jail guards were underneath orders to fire to kill those attempting to shun from domestic jail camps, though it was not probable to establish if this use continued during a year.

During a year a South Korean nongovernmental examine sequence North Korean Human Rights Infringement Record Center reported that North Korea carried out 901 open executions in 2007. North Korea also reportedly carried out 56 cases of outline executions with no authorised process.

A South Korean nongovernmental sequence (NGO) reported that 15 North Koreans, including 13 women and dual men, were shot in front of inner residents on Feb 20 for illegally entering China.

On Jan 3, Agence France-Presse reported that a South Korean NGO staid North Korean authorities had executed a mild plantation arch and dual colleagues for starting a private plantation in Dec 2007 in Pyongsong City. According to a report, a 3 were shot 90 times, 4 others were cursed to life imprisonment, and a families of those executed were taken to jail camps.

On Mar 10, railway load guards allegedly kick 20 homeless children, murdering several. The guards had reason a children hidden from a railway car.

On Jul 11, confidence army shot and killed a South Korean traveller visiting a Mt. Kumgang Tourism Park.

On Aug 26, a South Korean NGO reported that soldiers kick 20 homeless adults for perplexing to take corn from trucks in Hamheung city, South Hamgyoung Province. The news pronounced that one of a people was killed, and that a soldiers threw a physique into a transfer belligerent nearby a station.

On Oct 8, a South Korean NGO reported that authorities in Hoeryong City, North Hamgyong Province, publicly executed 5 women indicted of trafficking in persons. Family members of a women were not told until after a execution. According to a report, a families petitioned a government, claiming a women were not postulated due process, though a metropolitan supervision insisted a executions were carried out legally and did not respond to a petition.

Religious and tellurian rights groups outward a nation purported that some North Koreans who had hit with foreigners opposite a Chinese extent were incarcerated or killed.

There were no new developments in a purported 2006 genocide chastisement judgment for Son Jong-nam, whose hermit reported that Son was still alive as of a open of 2007.

b. Disappearance

The supervision was obliged for disappearances. In new years defectors claimed that state confidence officers mostly apprehended people suspected of domestic crimes and sent them, though trial, to domestic jail camps. There are no restrictions on a ability of a supervision to catch and incarcerate persons during will and to reason them incommunicado. The penal formula states that a prosecutor’s capitulation is imperative to catch a suspect; however, a supervision abandoned this law in practice.

On Feb 8, a organisation of 22 North Koreans in dual tiny boats floated into South Korean waters. South Korean authorities repatriated a people 13 hours later, claiming they had conducted interviews and dynamic a people were not defectors. Later in February, several South Korean news outlets quoted an different source who reported that a 22 people were executed on their return. The locale of a 22 remained different during year’s end.

There were no developments in a 2006 disappearance of Lee Kwang-soo’s family following his desertion to South Korea (Republic of Korea or ROK).

Japan continued to find serve information about a cases of 12 Japanese nationals whom a Japanese supervision designated as carrying been abducted by DPRK supervision entities. During a year Japan and a DPRK reason discussions on a issue. The DPRK resolved to giveaway a examination into these cases though had not announced any swell or result. Japan also hoped to benefit answers per other cases of suspected abductions of Japanese nationals.

In a past, convincing reports indicated that a supervision also kidnapped other nationals from locations abroad, including adults from Romania, Thailand, and presumably elsewhere. However, a supervision continued to repudiate a impasse in a kidnappings. The ROK supervision estimated that approximately 480 of a civilians who were abducted or incarcerated by a DPRK given a finish of a Korean War remained in a DPRK. The ROK supervision estimated 560 South Korean prisoners of fight (POWs) and soldiers blank in transformation were also believed to sojourn alive in a country.

During a year a media reported South Korean companion Kim Dong-shik had many approaching died within a year of his 2000 disappearance nearby a China-DPRK border.

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

The penal formula prohibits woe or inhumane treatment; however, many sources continued to endorse their practice. Methods of woe and other abuse reportedly enclosed serious beatings; electric shock; enlarged durations of temperament to a elements; humiliations such as open nakedness; capture for adult to several weeks in tiny “punishment cells” in that prisoners were incompetent to mount honest or distortion down; being forced to kneel or lay immobilized for enlarged periods; being hung by a wrists; being forced to mount adult and lay down to a indicate of collapse; and forcing mothers recently repatriated from China to watch a infanticide of their baby infants. Defectors continued to news that many prisoners died from torture, disease, starvation, temperament to a elements, or a multiple of these causes.

During a year Shin Dong-hyuk, a fugitive innate and cramped in a domestic jail stay in Kaechon in South Pyongan Province for 22 years, explained that beatings and woe were common within a camp. Shin reported that he was tortured with taboo coals while being hung from a roof after members of his family attempted to shun from a camp.

Officials taboo live births in jail and systematic forced abortions, quite in apprehension centers holding women repatriated from China, according to interloper reports. In some cases of live birth, there were reports that jail guards killed a tot or left it for dead. In further guards reportedly intimately abused womanlike prisoners.

Reeducation by labor, essentially by sentences during forced labor camps, was a common punishment and consisted of tasks such as logging, mining, or given crops underneath oppressive conditions. Reeducation endangered memorizing speeches by Kim Jong-il.

Prison and Detention Center Conditions

NGO, refugee, and press reports indicated that there were several forms of prisons, apprehension centers, and camps, including forced labor camps and apart camps for domestic prisoners. Defectors claimed a camps lonesome areas as vast as 200 block miles. The camps seemed to enclose mass graves, barracks, worksites, and other jail facilities.

Those cursed to jail for nonpolitical crimes were typically sent to reeducation prisons where prisoners were subjected to heated forced labor. Those who were deliberate antagonistic to a regime or who committed domestic crimes, such as defection, were sent to domestic jail camps indefinitely. Many prisoners in domestic jail camps were not approaching to survive. The supervision continued to repudiate a existence of domestic jail camps.

Reports indicated that conditions in a domestic jail camps were harsh. Systematic and serious tellurian rights abuses occurred around a jail and apprehension system. Detainees and prisoners consistently reported assault and torture. According to refugees, in some places of detention, prisoners perceived tiny or no food and were denied medical care. Sanitation was poor, and former labor stay inmates reported they had no changes of wardrobe during their bonds and were frequency means to rinse or rinse their clothing.

The supervision did not assent examination of prisons or apprehension camps by tellurian rights monitors.

d. Arbitrary Arrest or Detention

The law prohibits capricious catch and detention, though a supervision did not observe these prohibitions in practice.

Role of a Police and Security Apparatus

The inner confidence apparatus includes a Ministry of Public Security (MPS) and a State Security Department (SSD). Reports of diversion of food support to a troops and regime officials and of executive temptation were demonstrative of crime in a confidence forces. The confidence army do not have adequate mechanisms to examine probable confidence force abuses.

The army has 4 branches: Ground Force, Naval Force, Air Force, and Civil Securities Force. The nation has an estimated 1.1 million active troops personnel, in further to a haven force of approximately 3 million.

During a year one South Korean NGO reported that a purpose of a troops augmenting significantly. The augmenting shortcoming reportedly caused tragedy between a troops and a military.

Arrest and Detention

Members of a confidence army arrested and ecstatic adults suspected of committing domestic crimes to jail camps though trial. According to one South Korean NGO, on Feb 1, a People’s Safety Agency was certified to hoop directly rapist cases though capitulation of prosecutors. Previously, once troops officers arrested suspects, a preadjudication chapter examined contribution and justification of a box and upheld a box to prosecutors. It was not until a execution of prosecutors’ examination that a probity done an executive preference on a case. The change was done reportedly given of crime among prosecutors.

There were no restrictions on a government’s ability to catch and incarcerate persons during will or to reason them incommunicado. Family members and other endangered persons found it probably unfit to obtain information on charges opposite incarcerated persons or a lengths of their sentences. Judicial examination of detentions did not exist in law or in practice.

e. Denial of Fair Public Trial

The structure states that courts are eccentric and that authorised record are to be carried out in despotic suitability with a law; however, an eccentric law did not exist. The structure mandates that a executive probity is accountable to a Supreme People’s Assembly, and a rapist formula subjects judges to rapist guilt for handing down “unjust judgments.”

Trial Procedures

The MPS dispensed with trials in domestic cases and referred prisoners to a SSD for punishment. Little information was accessible on grave rapist probity procedures and practices, and outward entrance to a authorised complement was singular to uncover trials for trade violations and other teenager offenses.

The structure contains elaborate procedural protections, providing that cases should be listened in public, solely underneath resources stipulated by law. The structure also states that a indicted has a right to a defense, and when trials were held, a supervision reportedly indifferent lawyers. Some reports remarkable a eminence between those indicted of political, as opposite to nonpolitical, crimes and claimed that a supervision offering trials and lawyers customarily to a latter. There was no denote that independent, nongovernmental invulnerability lawyers existed.

Political Prisoners and Detainees

While a sum series of domestic prisoners and detainees remained unknown, an estimated 150,000 to 200,000 persons were believed to be reason in kwan li so domestic jail camps. The supervision deliberate critics of a regime to be domestic criminals. Reports from past years described domestic offenses as including sitting on newspapers temperament Kim Il-sung’s or Kim Jong-il’s picture, mentioning Kim Il-sung’s singular grave education, or defacing photographs of a Kims.

Civil Judicial Procedures and Remedies

According to essay 69 of a constitution, “[c]itizens are entitled to contention complaints and petitions. The state shall sincerely examine and understanding with complaints and petitions as bound by law.” Under a Law on Complaint and Petition, adults are entitled to contention complaints to stop intrusion on their rights and interests or find remuneration for a encroached rights and interests. This right was not reputable in practice.

f. Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or Correspondence

The structure provides for a inviolability of chairman and chateau and a remoteness of correspondence; however, a supervision did not honour these reserve in practice. The regime subjected a adults to firm controls. The supervision relied on a massive, multilevel complement of informants to brand critics and intensity troublemakers. Entire communities infrequently were subjected to confidence checks. Possessing “antistate” element and listening to unfamiliar broadcasts were crimes that could theme a offender to oppressive punishments, including adult to 5 years of labor reeducation.

The supervision monitored organisation and write conversations. Private write lines operated on a complement that precluded creation or receiving ubiquitous calls; ubiquitous phone lines were accessible customarily underneath singular circumstances. Foreign diplomats in Pyongyang staid that a inner network was subdivided so phone use remained a privilege. Although a government-controlled mobile phone network existed, dungeon phone use has been criminialized for a ubiquitous race given 2004. During a year defectors reported contacting their kin in a nation around this network.

The supervision divided adults into loyalty-based classes, that dynamic entrance to employment, aloft education, place of residence, medical facilities, and certain stores.

Collective punishment was practiced. Entire families, including children, have been incarcerated when one member of a family was indicted of a crime. A 2006 approach on slicing electric energy or communication lines and conducting bootleg drug sell states that a violator’s family shall be “expelled.”

Section 2 Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

a. Freedom of Speech and Press

The structure provides for leisure of debate and of a press; however, a supervision taboo a use of these rights in practice.

The structure provides for a right to petition. However, a supervision did not honour this right. For example, when different petitions or complaints about state administration were submitted, a SSD and MPS sought to brand a authors, who could be subjected to examination and punishment.

A South Korean NGO reported in Mar a highbrow during Gimchaek University of Technology was cursed to 5 years in a reeducation center, and her celebration membership and professorship were revoked for vocalization in a South Korean chapter during her class.

The supervision sought to control probably all information. There were no eccentric media. The supervision delicately managed visits by foreigners, generally unfamiliar journalists.

During visits by unfamiliar leaders, groups of unfamiliar reporters were accessible to accompany executive delegations and to record reports. In all cases reporters were monitored strictly. They generally were not authorised to pronounce to officials or to persons on a street, and mobile or satellite phones were reason during a airfield for a generation of a visitor’s stay.

Domestic media censorship continued to be enforced strictly, and no flaw from a executive supervision line was tolerated. The supervision taboo listening to unfamiliar media broadcasts solely by a domestic elite, and violators were theme to serious punishment. Radios and radio sets, unless altered, perceived customarily domestic programming; radios performed from abroad had to be altered to work in a matching manner. Elites and comforts for foreigners, such as hotels, could be postulated accede to accept ubiquitous radio broadcasts around satellite. The supervision continued to try to jam all unfamiliar radio broadcasts. During a year a supervision cursed a activities of a defector-run broadcasting hire in South Korea.

Internet Freedom

Internet entrance for adults was singular to high-ranking officials and other designated elites, including name university students. This entrance was postulated around ubiquitous write lines by a provider in China, as good as a inner tie that was related with a German server. An “intranet” was reportedly accessible to a somewhat incomparable organisation of users, including an chosen category school; comparison examine institutions, universities, and factories; and a few individuals. The Korean Communication Corporation acted as a gatekeeper, downloading customarily excusable information for entrance by a intranet. Reporters Without Borders reported that some e-mail entrance existed by this inner network. According to a press report, an augmenting series of adults had e-mail addresses on their business cards, nonetheless they were customarily e-mail addresses common among all a employees of an organization.

Academic Freedom and Cultural Events

The supervision singular educational leisure and tranquil artistic and educational works. A primary avocation of plays, movies, operas, children’s performances, and books was to strut a cult of celebrity surrounding Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il.

According to North Korean media, Kim Jong-il frequently told officials that ideological preparation contingency take dominance over educational preparation in a nation’s schools. Indoctrination was carried out evenly by a mass media, schools, and workman and area associations. Indoctrination continued to rivet mass marches, rallies, and staged performances, infrequently including hundreds of thousands of persons.

A South Korean NGO reported that a supervision seized a song teacher’s permit and confiscated her diploma for “violating revolutionary ideology.” The clergyman had been providing bootleg private lessons.

The supervision continued a try to extent unfamiliar influences on a citizens. Listening to unfamiliar radio and examination unfamiliar films is illegal; however, countless NGOs reported that Chinese and South Korean DVDs continued to be smuggled into a country. The supervision strong a concentration on preventing a bootlegging of imports of South Korean renouned culture, generally radio dramas. According to a media report, in an try to make a limitation on unfamiliar films, troops customarily cut electricity to unit blocks and afterwards raided each unit to see what forms of DVDs were stranded in a players. In January, an NGO reported that 3 adults perceived genocide sentences for impasse in doing cinema smuggled from China and South Korea. The NGO also reported that a supervision in Aug began a crackdown on bootleg media in Hyesan City, Ryanggang Province and that those reason examination South Korean cinema were cursed to reeducation.

A South Korean NGO reported that in early Jul 5 students during a Machinery Vocational School in Onsung County, North Hamgyong Province, were incarcerated and cursed to 6 months during a labor stay for examination South Korean dramas.

Another NGO reported in Sep that 5 students faced a open hearing for examination South Korean DVDs. One of a students reportedly was cursed to 7 years in jail and his family was diminished from Pyongyang. The 4 others were cursed to dual years of forced labor.

One NGO reported that authorities criminialized a sale of Chinese VCRs during a year. The NGO reported that on Oct 29, confidence officers visited private homes and confiscated all televisions and VCRs purebred after Oct 2005. However, a NGO reported that people were means to cheat a confidence officers in sequence to keep a equipment.

b. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

Freedom of Assembly

The structure provides for leisure of assembly; however, a supervision did not honour this sustenance in use and continued to demarcate open meetings though before authorization.

Freedom of Association

The structure provides for leisure of association; however, a supervision unsuccessful to honour this sustenance in practice. There were no famous organizations other than those combined by a government. Professional associations existed essentially to promote supervision monitoring and control over sequence members.

c. Freedom of Religion

The structure provides for “freedom of eremite belief”; however, in use a supervision exceedingly singular eremite leisure unless supervised by quite famous groups related to a government. The law also stipulates that sacrament “should not be used for functions of boring in unfamiliar powers or endangering open security.” Genuine eremite leisure did not exist.

The celebrity cult of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il continued to resemble a state sacrament that supposing a devout underpinning for a regime. Refusal to accept a personality as a autarchic supervision was regarded as antithesis to a inhabitant seductiveness and continued to outcome in serious punishment.

The 2007 Korea Institute for National Unification’s White Paper on Human Rights in North Korea resolved that a regime used certified eremite entities for outmost promotion and domestic functions and quite barred inner adults from entering places of worship. For example, supports and products that were donated to government-approved churches were channeled to a KWP by a government.

There were unconfirmed reports that a nonreligious children of eremite believers cunning be employed during mid-levels of a government. In a past such people suffered extended taste with infrequently serious penalties or even imprisonment.

According to fugitive reports, a supervision reportedly was endangered that faith-based South Korean service and interloper assistance efforts along a extent with China had both charitable and domestic goals, including overpower of a regime, and purported that these groups were endangered in comprehension gathering. According to an unconfirmed explain from one unfamiliar eremite NGO, 9 North Korean nationals in a network left in 2007. The reason for their reported disappearance could not be confirmed.

There continued to be reports of subterraneous Christian churches. The supervision singular and persecuted unapproved eremite groups in new years. Defectors reported that persons intent in eremite proselytizing, persons with ties to abroad devout groups, and repatriated persons who contacted foreigners while outward a nation were arrested and subjected to oppressive punishment. Defectors asserted that adults who perceived assistance from unfamiliar churches were deliberate domestic criminals and perceived harsher treatment, including imprisonment, enlarged apprehension though charge, torture, and execution.

According to NGO reports, 10 college students were arrested by a National Security Agency for reading a Bible and examination a DVD about a Bible.

Religious and tellurian rights groups outward a nation continued to yield countless unconfirmed reports that members of subterraneous churches were beaten, arrested, incarcerated in jail camps, tortured, or killed given of their eremite beliefs.

Societal Abuses and Discrimination

There was no information on governmental violence, harassment, or taste opposite members of eremite groups.

There was no famous Jewish population, and there were no reports of anti-Semitic acts.

For a some-more minute discussion, see a 2008 International Religious Freedom Report during

d. Freedom of Movement, Internally Displaced Persons, Protection of Refugees, and Stateless Persons

The law provides for a “freedom to reside in or ride to any place”; however, a supervision did not honour this right in practice. During a year a supervision continued to try to control inner travel. The supervision did not concur with a Office of a UN High Commissioner for Refugees and other charitable organizations in aiding refugees and haven seekers.

The supervision continued to shorten a leisure to pierce within a country. Only members of a really tiny chosen category and those with entrance to remittances from abroad had entrance to personal vehicles, and transformation was hampered by a deficiency of an effective ride network and by troops and troops checkpoints on categorical roads during a entrance to and exit from each town. Use of personal vehicles during night and on Sundays was restricted. Violators of a karaoke bar anathema reportedly were warned that punishment could embody relocation to other regions within a country.

The supervision quite tranquil accede to reside in, or even to enter, Pyongyang, where food supplies, housing, health, and ubiquitous vital conditions were many improved than in a rest of a country. Foreign officials visiting a nation celebrated checkpoints on a highway heading into Pyongyang from a countryside.

The supervision also singular unfamiliar travel. The regime singular distribution of exit visas for unfamiliar ride to officials and devoted businessmen, artists, athletes, academics, and eremite figures. Short-term exit papers were accessible for some residents on a Chinese extent to capacitate visits with kin or to rivet in small-scale trade.

It is not famous possibly a laws demarcate forced exile; a supervision forced a inner outcast of some citizens. In a past a supervision intent in forced inner resettlement of tens of thousands of persons from Pyongyang to a countryside. Sometimes this occurred as punishment for offenses, nonetheless amicable engineering was also involved. For example, nonetheless infirm veterans were treated well, other persons with earthy and mental disabilities, as good as those judged to be politically unreliable, have been sent out of Pyongyang into inner exile.

The supervision did not concede emigration, nonetheless officials in extent areas reportedly took bribes from, or simply let pass, persons channel a extent into China though imperative permits. The media and NGOs reported periodic crackdowns on this practice, with a stepped-up troops appearance along a border. Late in a year, several NGOs also reported stricter penalties recently imposed on attempted defectors.

Substantial numbers of adults have crossed a extent into China over a years, and NGO estimates of those who lived there during a year ranged from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands. Some staid semi-permanently in northeastern China, others trafficked behind and onward opposite a border, and others sought haven and permanent resettlement in third countries. A few thousand adults gained haven in third countries during a year.

The law criminalizes desertion and attempted defection, including a try to benefit entrance to a unfamiliar tactful trickery for a purpose of seeking domestic asylum. Individuals who cranky a extent with a purpose of defecting or seeking haven in a third nation are theme to a smallest of 5 years of “labor correction.” In “serious” cases defectors or haven seekers are theme to unfixed terms of seizure and forced labor, lien of property, or death. Many would-be refugees who were returned involuntarily were incarcerated underneath oppressive conditions. Some sources indicated that a harshest diagnosis was indifferent for those who had endless hit with foreigners. In 2006 China reported it had repatriated a North Korean haven seeker famous as Kim Chun-hee, notwithstanding requests from a ubiquitous village not to repatriate her. Kim’s locale remained unknown. In 2006 Chinese troops arrested and deported to North Korea 9 kin of South Korean POWs; one NGO reported that a 9 were approaching in prison, though their locale remained unknown.
In a past, reports from defectors indicated that a regime differentiated between persons who crossed a extent in hunt of food (who cunning be cursed customarily to a few months of forced labor or in some cases merely expelled a warning) and persons who crossed frequently or for domestic functions (who were infrequently cursed to complicated punishments). The law stipulates a judgment of adult to dual years of “labor correction” for a crime of illegally channel a border.

During a year a supervision reportedly continued to make a process that all extent crossers be sent to prison.

Protection of Refugees

The law does not yield for a extenuation of haven or interloper standing in suitability with a 1951 UN Convention relating to a Status of Refugees and a 1967 protocol, nor has a supervision determined a complement for providing word for refugees. The supervision did not extend interloper standing or asylum. The supervision had no famous process or sustenance for refugees or asylees and did not attend in ubiquitous interloper fora.

Section 3 Respect for Political Rights: The Right of Citizens to Change Their Government

Citizens do not have a right to change their supervision peacefully. The KWP and a KPA, with Kim Jong-il in control, dominated a domestic system. Little arguable information was accessible on intraregime politics. The legislature, a Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA), meets customarily a few days per year to rubber-stamp resolutions presented by a celebration leadership.

The supervision fit a persecution with nationalism and demanded nearby aggrandisement of both Kim Jong-il and Kim Il-sung. All adults remained theme to complete domestic and ideological indoctrination, that was dictated to safeguard faithfulness to a caring and consent to a state’s beliefs and authority.

Elections and Political Participation

Elections of member to a provincial, municipal, and county people’s assemblies were reason in Jul of 2007. The elections were not giveaway and fair, and a outcome was probably matching to before elections. The supervision plainly monitored voting, ensuing in scarcely 100 percent appearance and 100 percent approval.

The supervision has combined several “minority parties.” Lacking grassroots organizations, they existed customarily as rosters of officials with token illustration in a SPA. The supervision frequently criticized a judgment of giveaway elections and foe among domestic parties as an “artifact” of “capitalist decay.”

Women done adult 20 percent of a membership of a SPA as of a 2003 elections, and approximately 4 percent of a membership of a KWP executive committee.

The nation is racially and ethnically homogenous. Officially there are no minorities, and there is, therefore, no information on minority illustration in a government.

Government Corruption and Transparency

It is not famous possibly a law provides rapist penalties for executive corruption, possibly a supervision implemented any such laws effectively, or how mostly officials intent in hurtful practices with impunity.

Reports of diversion of food support to a troops and supervision officials and temptation were demonstrative of crime in a supervision and confidence forces. The supervision continued to repudiate any diversion of food aid, nonetheless it hinted that it was combating inner corruption.

Foreign media reported that a supervision launched a grave crime examination in Jan privately targeting a National Economic Cooperation Federation (NECF) and a North Korean People’s Council for National Reconciliation. The NECF reportedly supposed bribes to tag Chinese-made products as “Made in North Korea,” permitting them to be exported to South Korea avocation free.

It is not famous possibly open officials are theme to financial avowal laws and possibly a supervision group is obliged for combating corruption. There are no famous laws that yield for open entrance to supervision information.

Section 4 Governmental Attitude Regarding International and Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights

There were no eccentric domestic organizations to guard tellurian rights conditions or to critique on a standing of such rights. The government’s North Korean Human Rights Committee has denied a existence of any tellurian rights violations in a country.

The supervision abandoned requests for visits from ubiquitous tellurian rights NGOs. The NGO village and countless ubiquitous experts continued to attest to a grave tellurian rights conditions in a nation during a year. The supervision decried ubiquitous statements about tellurian rights abuses in a nation as politically encouraged and as division in inner affairs. The supervision asserted that critique of a tellurian rights record was an try by some countries to cover adult their possess abuses and that such pomposity undermined tellurian rights principles.

The supervision emphasized that it had validated many UN tellurian rights instruments though continued to exclude team-work with UN representatives. The supervision continued to forestall a UN Special Rapporteur on a Situation of Human Rights in a DPRK, Vitit Muntarbhorn, from visiting a nation to lift out his mandate. The supervision continued to exclude to commend a special rapporteur’s charge and deserted a offer of a Office of a High Commissioner on Human Rights to work with a supervision on tellurian rights covenant implementation.

Section 5 Discrimination, Societal Abuses, and Trafficking in Persons

The structure grants equal rights to all citizens. However, a supervision has never postulated a adults many elemental tellurian rights in practice, and it continued pervasive taste on a basement of amicable status.


The supervision seemed to criminalize rape, though no information was accessible on sum of a law and how effectively a law was enforced. Women in jail camps reportedly were theme to rape and forced abortions.

Violence opposite women was a poignant problem both inside and outward a home.

According to press reports, harlotry is illegal; there is no accessible information on a superiority of harlotry in a country. There continued to be reports of trafficking in women and immature girls who had crossed into China.

The structure states that “women reason equal amicable standing and rights with men;” however, nonetheless women were represented proportionally in a labor force, few women had reached high levels of a celebration or a government.


The state provides 11 years of giveaway imperative preparation for all children. However, in a past some children were denied educational opportunities and subjected to punishments and disadvantages as a outcome of a faithfulness sequence complement and a element of “collective retribution” for a transgressions of family members.

Foreign visitors and educational sources reported that from fifth category children were subjected to several hours a week of imperative troops training and that all children have teaching during their schools.

The UN Committee on a Rights of a Child frequently has voiced regard over de facto taste opposite children with disabilities and a deficient measures taken by a state to safeguard these children had effective entrance to health, education, and amicable services.

It is not famous possibly boys and girls have equal entrance to state-provided medical care; entrance to health caring was mostly contingent on faithfulness to a government.

Information about governmental or patrimonial abuse of children remained unavailable. There were reports of trafficking in immature girls among persons who had crossed into China.

Trafficking in Persons

There were no famous laws privately addressing a problem of trafficking in persons, and trafficking of women and immature girls into and within China continued to be widely reported. Some North Korean women and girls who willingly crossed into China were picked adult by trafficking rings and sole as brides to Chinese nationals or placed in forced labor. In other cases, North Korean women and girls were lured out of North Korea by a pledge of food, jobs, and freedom, customarily to be forced into prostitution, marriage, or exploitive labor arrangements. A network of smugglers facilitated this trafficking. Many victims of trafficking, incompetent to pronounce Chinese, were reason as practical prisoners, and some were forced to work as prostitutes. Traffickers infrequently abused or physically scarred a victims to forestall them from escaping. Officials facilitated trafficking by usurpation bribes to concede people to cranky a extent into China.

The State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report can be found during

Persons with Disabilities

A law enacted in 2003 mandates equal entrance for persons with disabilities to open services; however, implementing legislation has not been passed. Traditional amicable norms acquit taste opposite persons with earthy disabilities. Although veterans with disabilities were treated well, other persons with earthy and mental disabilities have been sent out of Pyongyang into inner exile. According to a news expelled in 2006 by a World Association of Milal, an ubiquitous incapacity NGO, persons with disabilities constituted approximately 3.4 percent of a population, some-more than 64 percent of whom lived in county areas. A unfamiliar spectator who travels to a nation reported during a year that reconstruction centers for a infirm are commencement to appear, together with comforts for a elderly. A unfamiliar NGO reported that a North Korean Federation for a Protection of a Disabled authorised them to work in North Korea. It is not famous possibly a supervision restricts a right of persons with disabilities to opinion or attend in county affairs.

Other Societal Abuses and Discrimination

No information was accessible on other governmental abuses and discrimination, such as governmental assault or taste formed on passionate orientation.

No information was accessible per taste opposite persons with HIV/AIDS.

Section 6 Worker Rights

a. The Right of Association

The structure provides for leisure of association; however, this sustenance was not reputable in practice. There were no famous labor organizations other than those combined by a government. The KWP purportedly represents a interests of all labor. There was a singular labor organization, a General Federation of Trade Unions of Korea. Operating underneath this umbrella, unions functioned on a classical Stalinist model, with shortcoming for mobilizing workers to support prolongation goals and for providing health, education, cultural, and gratification facilities.

Unions do not have a right to strike. According to North Korean law, wrong open can outcome in 5 years of correctional labor.

b. The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

Workers do not have a right to classify or to discount collectively. Factory and plantation workers were orderly into councils, that had an impact on supervision decisions. According to a International Trade Union Confederation, North Korean law does not enclose penalties for employers who meddle in kinship functions, nor does it strengthen workers who cunning try to rivet in kinship activities from employer retaliation.

There was one special mercantile territory (SEZ) in a Rajin-Sonbong area. The same labor laws that practical in a rest of a nation practical in a Rajin-Sonbong SEZ, and workers in a SEZ were comparison by a government.

Under a special law that combined a Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC), located tighten to a demilitarized territory between South Korea and North Korea, special regulations covering labor issues negotiated between North Korea and South Korea were in outcome for a supervision of labor in a area. Those regulations did not enclose reserve that pledge leisure of organisation or a right to discount collectively. According to South Korea’s Ministry of Unification, during year’s finish approximately 79 South Korean firms, including tiny firms handling in an apartment-type factory, were producing products during a KIC. There were approximately 33,000 North Korean workers employed during a site. South Korea’s Ministry of Unification reported that a DPRK’s Central Special Area Development Directing Bureau supposing possibilities for preference by a South Korean companies. Under this agreement North Korean workers in a KIC reportedly warranted a monthly smallest income of approximately $63.40 (according to a Kaesong Industrial Complex Labor Law, income are set in U.S. dollars), after a second 5 percent income boost took outcome in August. Employing firms reported that, with overtime, a normal workman warranted approximately $74 before deductions. Due to a miss of transparency, it was formidable to establish what suit of their warranted income workers eventually took home. Although a special laws ruling a KIC need approach remuneration to a workers, a income were in fact paid to a North Korean government, that saved a apportionment for amicable word and other advantages and afterwards remitted a change (reportedly about 70 percent) to a workers in an different multiple of “commodity supply cards,” that could be exchanged for tack goods, and North Korean won, converted during a executive sell rate. On Dec 1, a supervision singular extent crossings and entrance to a KIC, protesting what it called “hostile policies” of ROK President Lee Myung Bak.

c. Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

The law prohibits forced or imperative labor. However, a supervision mobilized a race for construction and other labor projects, including on Sundays, a one day off a week. The penal formula criminalizes forced child labor; however, there were reports that such practices occurred (see territory 6.d.). The supervision also frequently collected vast groups together for mass demonstrations and performances. “Reformatory labor” and “reeducation by labor” have traditionally been common punishments for domestic offenses. Forced and imperative labor, such as logging and given crops, continued to be a common predestine of domestic prisoners.

The penal formula requires that all adults of operative age contingency work and “strictly observe labor fortify and operative hours.” According to a penal code, disaster to accommodate mercantile devise goals can outcome in dual years of “labor correction.”

d. Prohibition of Child Labor and Minimum Age for Employment

According to a law, a state prohibits work by children underneath a age of 16 years.

School children infrequently were sent to work in factories or in a fields for brief durations to support in completing special projects, such as sleet dismissal on vital roads, or in assembly prolongation goals. Children were forced also to attend in informative activities and, according to educational reports, were subjected to oppressive conditions during imperative training sessions. According to a South Korean press report, a supervision imperative high propagandize and college students to attend in delinquent “voluntary work,” quite rice-planting efforts, during their vacation periods. A fugitive interviewed by a UN special rapporteur reported that a supervision infrequently took immature people from a ride and forced them to work on a farms.

e. Acceptable Conditions of Work

No arguable information were accessible on a smallest income in state-owned industries. However, anecdotal reports indicated that a normal daily income was not sufficient to yield a decent customary of vital for a workman and family. Since a 2002 mercantile reforms, remuneration underwent poignant change as adults sought to acquire tough banking to support themselves and their families. Workers mostly had to compensate for services that formerly had been supposing possibly giveaway or during rarely subsidized rates by a state, such as lease for housing and fees for transportation. While preparation and medical caring technically remained free, educational materials and medicines seemed accessible customarily for squeeze in markets. Foreign observers who visited a nation reported that many bureau workers frequently unsuccessful to go to work, profitable a cheat to managers to list them as present, so they could rivet in several trade and entrepreneurial activities instead. The same source staid that many supervision factories were not operating, essentially due to electricity shortages.

Class credentials and family connectors could be as critical as veteran cunning in determining who perceived sold jobs, and unfamiliar companies that have determined corner ventures continued to news that all their employees contingency be hired from registers screened by a government.

The structure stipulates an eight-hour workday; however, some sources reported that laborers worked longer hours, maybe including additional time for imperative investigate of a papers of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il. The structure provides all adults with a “right to rest,” including paid leave, holidays, and entrance to sanitariums and rest homes saved during open expense; however, a state’s eagerness and ability to yield these services was unknown. Foreign diplomats reported that workers had 15 days of paid leave and paid inhabitant holidays. Some persons were imperative to take partial in mass events on holidays, that infrequently imperative allege use during work time. Workers were mostly imperative to “celebrate” during slightest some partial of open holidays with their work units and were means to spend a whole day with their families customarily if a holiday lasted dual days.

Many worksites were hazardous, and a industrial collision rate was high. The law recognizes a state’s shortcoming for providing complicated and sterilizing operative conditions. The penal formula criminalizes a disaster to mind “labor reserve orders” regarding to workman reserve and workplace conditions customarily if it formula in a detriment of lives or other “grave loss.” In further workers do not have an enumerated right to mislay themselves from dangerous operative conditions.

Citizens suffered tellurian rights abuses and worked underneath oppressive conditions while operative abroad for North Korean firms and underneath arrangements between a North Korean supervision and unfamiliar firms. According to press reports, such agreement laborers worked in Mongolia, Russia, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Bulgaria, and Angola. In many cases contracting firms paid salaries to a North Korean government, and it was not famous how many of that income a workers received. Workers were typically watched closely by supervision officials while abroad and reportedly did not have leisure of transformation outward their vital and operative quarters.

Wages of some of a several thousand North Koreans employed in Russia reportedly were saved until a laborers returned home, creation them exposed to dishonesty by North Korean authorities, who betrothed comparatively high payments.

*Note on Sourcing: The United States does not have tactful family with a Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. North Korea does not concede member of unfamiliar governments, journalists, or other invited guest a leisure of transformation that would capacitate them to consider entirely tellurian rights conditions or endorse reported abuses. Refugee testimony mostly is antiquated given of a time relapse between interloper departures from North Korea and hit with NGOs or officials means to request tellurian rights conditions, nonetheless in new years some refugees have been means to describe their stories in a some-more timely fashion.

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