U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea

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Formed in 2001, the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) involves human rights and U.S. foreign policy specialists who banded together to address the problems in North Korea.[1] Much of their initial focus was on improved access both for external observer to North Korea, and for North Koreans to communicate with the rest of the world and to leave if they choose. They cooperate with organizations including Human Rights Watch.[2]

They support involvement by the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights and by the International Committee of the Red Cross, and access both by non-governmental organizations and the free press.

Extrajudicial detention is a major concern: "Up to 200,000 people are believed to be imprisoned without due process, under inhumane conditions, for political reasons; an estimated 400,000 have died in such camps. We should seek access to the camps for International Red Cross inspection teams, a list of those imprisoned and those responsible for their care, and information regarding their sentences and their conditions. A special effort must be made to release those who are detained in the camps without charge, because of a policy of collective punishment for the kin of political prisoners. This practice, and infanticide against inmates’ new-born children should be stopped immediately."

Economic means that helped establish rights in South Africa, the Sullivan principles, are a priority. They encourage investment under a corporate code of conduct.

Food and hunger are major issues: "Under the regime’s “military first” policies, food supplies, even internationally provided food assistance, is being withheld from those that need it most and provided to those who are categorized as loyal to the regime. This use of food as a method of political retribution and coercion must stop." They want foreign assistance to be conditional on human rights improvement.

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