South Korea forms rights committee to investigate alleged North Korea abuses

  • South Korea
  • 11/12/2008
  • Andrew Gilmore - Jurist

The South Korean government Tuesday established a committee of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK) to investigate alleged human rights abuses in North Korea. The formation of the new committee is expected to become a source of tension between the two countries. The human rights situation in North Korea has recently come under increased international scrutiny, with a draft UN General Assembly resolution condemning North Korea’s human rights practices gaining support from South Korea, Japan, and the European Union. Since assuming office in February 2008, South Korean president Lee Myung Bak has taken a tougher line on North-South relations than his predecessors, leading to more confrontations with the North Korean government.

Last month, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in North Korea called on the country to take urgent action to improve its rights record. In March, the NHRCK announced an official investigation into alleged human rights violations by North Korea. North Korea is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Political Rights, among other international treaties.