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Christian group welcomes UN condemnation of North Korea

Christian Solidarity Worldwide has been campaigning about the country's religious freedom violations for many years.

The UN General Assembly's human rights committee has now given its approval to a resolution that acknowledges the findings of the UN Commission of Inquiry into human rights in North Korea and encourages the Security Council to consider taking appropriate action to ensure accountability for these crimes, including through referral to the International Criminal Court.

A report last year concluded that "unspeakable atrocities" continue to be perpetrated against the North Korean people, and that "the gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a State that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world."
A further report earlier this year outlined the grounds for charges of crimes against humanity: "These crimes against humanity entail extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the enforced disappearance of persons and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation."

Earlier this month, CSW along with nine other organisations, signed a joint letter to all UN member countries urging them to support the resolution on North Korea.
CSW's East Asia Team Leader Benedict Rogers said, "This vote is truly historic.

"It comes seven years after the publication of CSW's ground-breaking report North Korea: A Case to Answer, A Call to Act, which was one of the first reports to call for an international inquiry.

"It comes three years after we co-founded the International Coalition to Stop Crimes Against Humanity in North Korea. And it comes a year and a half after the establishment of the UN Commission of Inquiry and just nine months after the release of their report.

"There is still a lot more to do - next month the full General Assembly will vote on the resolution, and then the task of ensuring that the UN Security Council acts upon the General Assembly resolution will begin.

"The campaign to hold the perpetrators of crimes against humanity in North Korea and to end impunity took a significant step forward yesterday, and we now urge the Security Council to take action by referring North Korea to the International Criminal Court."

Hear Benedict Rogers speaking to Premier's Aaron James:

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