Urging the UN to Investigate North Korea's Gulags
As pro bono counsel to the International Coalition to Stop Crimes Against Humanity in North Korea, New Perimeter teamed up with international human rights firm Perseus Strategies to prepare and submit a petition to the special procedures of the United Nations Human Rights Council calling for the United Nations (UN) to investigate North Korea’s vast gulag system, known as the kwan-li-so. The Petition urged these UN bodies to investigate the gulag system in North Korea and present their findings to the Human Rights Council for consideration and further action. Together with other international efforts, the petition resulted in the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights calling for a “full-fledged international inquiry” into the reported human rights abuses in North Korea and the unanimous adoption of a resolution in the Human Rights Council creating a Commission of Inquiry.
It is estimated that North Korea imprisons between 150,000 to 200,000 persons in a vast gulag system. Despite a multitude of actions and resolutions passed by various United Nations organs, subsidiary bodies, and treaty bodies condemning this practice, it appears that these detention camps continue to grow. Prisoners in these camps are mostly alleged political dissidents and their family members who are detained without any trial or due process. Once imprisoned, individuals are subjected to dangerous forced labor, miniscule food rations, torture, executions, forced abortions and infanticide—among other atrocities.