The European Parliament has passed a resolution which calls on the EU to support the establishment of a UN Commission of Inquiry into human rights violations in North Korea.
The resolution, passed on 8 July 2010, also calls for the EU to appoint a special representative to the country.
In February the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Vitit Muntarbhorn, described the human rights situation there as “abysmal”.
The United Nations Human Rights Council resolution of 25 March 2010, which was supported by the EU Member States, condemned the “systematic, widespread and grave violations of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights” and “grave, widespread and systematic human rights abuses” by the North Korean government, in particular the use of torture and labour camps against political prisoners and repatriated citizens.
Stuart Windsor, National Director of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) said: “The European Parliament’s resolution is a very welcome step forward in our campaign to urge the United Nations to investigate human rights violations in North Korea, which we believe amount to crimes against humanity.
"It is now time for the EU to act on the European Parliament’s recommendations, and work to secure the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry. We hope that the next UN General Assembly resolution will take forward this recommendation. The situation in the gulags in North Korea is desperate, and requires urgent international action to bring an end to the suffering.”