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High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navane...

NORTH KOREA: Could a Commission of Inquiry finally be a reality?  29/01/2013

 After years of CSW campaigning for a UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) on North Korea, the goal is finally within reach. With international heavyweights backing the proposal, the time has never been better to launch an official investigation into crimes against humanity in the world’s most oppressed nation.

“The deplorable human rights situation…has no parallel anywhere else in the world”

There are several signs that this could be the moment for the UN to act:

   • In January, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, added her support, calling the situation “deplorable”,    • The UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in North Korea has called for a COI,    • The countries sitting on the UN’s Human Rights Council this year are much more likely to vote in favour of a COI,    • In the past few days the governments of Japan and Australia have called for a Commission of Inquiry,    • Leading international legal experts have backed up CSW’s ongoing calls.

Over five years ago CSW published its groundbreaking report, ‘North Korea: A Case to Answer, A Call to Act’, and recommended a Commission of Inquiry. Following recent small victories of support, North Korea’s regime is under greater pressure than ever to account for its extensive human rights violations.

There needs to be one government or group of governments who will take the lead. We believe the UK could be that government. That’s why we need you to email your MP today.  But we’ve got to move fast – there’s just a small window of opportunity here!

Q: What would a Commission of Inquiry achieve? A: It would put the spotlight on North Korea’s record, and hold the regime to account.

Q: Won’t North Korea refuse to cooperate? A: Very likely, but thousands of North Koreans have escaped the country and would provide evidence to the inquiry that would contradict the regime’s attempts to deny long-term and systematic human rights violations.

Q: Why is CSW concentrating on this now? A: This year, the composition of the Human Rights Council is the most favourable it has ever been. It is very likely that a majority will favour the establishment of a COI this March. This is a moment to be seized.

Q: What’s the next step? In order for a Commission of Inquiry to be established, there needs to be one government or group of governments which will take the lead. CSW has asked supporters of religious freedom across the world to lobby their governments so that each country can play a significant role in the establishment of this COI.  Find out how you can lobby your MP here.


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