UN focus on child rights in Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

With regard to the second periodic report of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Committee noted with appreciation the adoption of laws aimed at enhancing the implementation of the Convention. It also noted the amendments made to various legislative provisions to enhance the implementation of the Convention, including the Citizenship Law (1999); the Law on Medical Care (1990); the Law on Compensation for Damages (2001); and the Inheritance Law (2002).

Among its recommendations, the Committee encouraged the State party to strengthen its cooperation with UN agencies and the international donor community in the area of policy planning, and to provide them with full access to all vulnerable groups, in particular children, and to areas which required special attention, and share information on policies and financial expenditures in the social sector.

The Committee recommended the State party to continue and strengthen all necessary measures to prevent and eliminate any form of institutional violence; and continue reinforcing public awareness campaigns to promote positive, participatory and non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment at all levels of society.

Further, the Committee recommended that the State party conduct an in-depth study to find out the nature and the extent of abuse and neglect, with a view to developing a strategy to deal with the phenomenon; give attention to addressing and overcoming socio-cultural barriers associated with child abuse and neglect; ensure that child victims received appropriate support and services; and train parents, teachers and law enforcement officials in the identification and on the reporting and management of ill-treatment cases.

The Committee recommended that the State party assess and analyse the causes of children crossing the border to other countries; treat the children who returned to the State party as victims and not perpetrators of a crime; negotiate with the Chinese authorities for their safe repatriation; and provide them with the necessary support for reintegration and counselling.

On membership to the ILO, the Committee recommended that the State party consider membership in the ILO in order to be in a position to hereafter consider ratifying relevant ILO international treaties to protect persons below 18 from economic exploitation, and that it strictly apply the minimum age for access to employment.

The Committee recommended that the State party undertake a comprehensive study to assess the nature and the extent of human trafficking, in particular involving children; ensure the protection from sexual exploitation and trafficking in relevant legislation to all boys and girls below the age of 18 years, and pursue efforts to combat sexual exploitation.

Finally, the Committee recommended that the State party review its legislation and policy to ensure that all persons in conflict with the law under the age of 18 conformed entirely to international juvenile justice standards.

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