Joint Statement by the United Kingdom All-Party Parliamentary Group on North Korea (APPG North Korea) and the Korea Institute for National Unification (KINU)
Adopted by the members of the APPG North Korea and the Korea Institute for National Unification at the co-hosted 2023 European Forum on North Korean Human Rights on 24 October, 2023.
The Korea Institute for National Unification and the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on North Korea:
Affirming its commitment to collaborate with British Parliamentarians, the Government of the Republic of Korea, and the international community in efforts to prevent the repatriation of North Korean refugees by Chinese authorities, particularly children, women and pregnant women in accordance with its obligations of the 1951 Refugee Convention, and the need to uphold international law and abide by the principle of non-refoulement;
1 Noting that the 2014 United Nations Commission of Inquiry (COI) report on human rights in the DPRK found that crimes against humanity were committed in North Korea, equating it to the 21st century Holocaust at the highest state level;
2 Expresses deep concern about the highest level of human rights violations, encompassing civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights committed against the people of North Korea; these violations include persecution, suppression, enforced disappearances, imprisonment, torture, forced abortions, detention in labour and prison camps and even execution by North Korean authorities;
3 Condemns the abduction of all citizens of the Republic of Korea by North Korean authorities and urges their immediate return to their families and children, who have not only suffered for several years in North Korean prisons, but also deserve the basic protection of the Geneva Conventions and international human rights laws and principles;
4 Requests the government of North Korea to allow the reunion of the millions of separated families between North and South Korea; as their ages now reach into their 80s and 90s, it is their last wish to see their parents, sisters and brothers; the separation of millions of families between the two Koreas remains one of the most tragic events on earth;
5 Supports the Korea Institute for National Unification, the APPG North Korea, and the international community in their regular engagements and collaboration, including organisation of human rights forums, seminars and roundtable dialogues; the commitment to monitoring and discussing the situation of human rights and crimes against humanity on the Korean Peninsula must be maintained within a regular timeframe;
6 Calls on the government of North Korea to respect all 30 Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to allow the international community to conduct human rights inspections of the humanitarian situation, labour and prison camps, as well as to visit the hundreds of thousands of detained prisoners in North Korea;
7 Urges the both Parliaments of the Republic of Korea and the UK take further actions on human rights abuses in North Korea and the repatriation of North Korean escapees by Chinese authorities; as well as efforts and actions towards ensuring accountability for crimes against humanity in North Korea must be undertaken by both Parliaments.