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EU, Japan draw up N.K. human rights resolution

All Headlines 16:12 March 08, 2016

SEOUL, March 8 (Yonhap) -- The European Union and Japan have recently drawn up a draft resolution on North Korea's human rights abuses for submission later this month to a U.N. human rights panel, government sources said Tuesday.

In the latest effort to shed light on the communist state's woeful human rights conditions, they would begin a process to review the resolution possibly next week before tabling it at the 13th session of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. The council's latest session opened on Feb. 29 and will end on March 24.

The council has adopted a resolution, handed in by the EU and Japan, in March each year to call international attention to the North's human rights situations.

This year's draft resolution has drawn particular international attention as it followed on the heels of a U.N. Security Council's sanctions resolution that aims to punish the North for its recent nuclear weapons and long-range rocket tests.

The sources said that related countries including South Korea would review the resolution around next Monday when Marzuki Darusman, U.N. special rapporteur on the North Korean human rights situation, is to deliver an official report on the reclusive state.

The resolution is expected to be adopted near the end of the 13th session of the council -- on March 23 or 24.

An official said that this year's resolution could entail new contents potentially including the situations surrounding North Koreans working overseas under poor conditions. More than 500,000 North Koreans are thought to work aboard mostly in China and Russia, earning around US$200 million per year.

The insider also noted that the issue of holding perpetrators in the North Korean regime responsible for rights abuses could be dealt with in the resolution.

Apart from the council's resolution, the U.N. General Assembly has also adopted a resolution on the North's human rights each year. The Assembly's resolution, adopted in 2013 and the following year, called for referring the North Korean case to the International Criminal Court.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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