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Committee on the Rights of the Child considers the report of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea

GENEVA (20 September 2017) - The Committee on the Rights of the Child today considered the fifth periodic report of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on its implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Introducing the report, Han Tae Song, Permanent Representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the United Nations, explained that during the 2008-2015 period, a series of legislative and practical measures for the protection and promotion of the rights of the child had been adopted, including the law on the protection of the rights of the child.  Measures had been put in place to promote the secondary level education of children with disabilities and provide them with good conditions for their learning, life and reintegration.  The Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, as well as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities had been ratified.  All this had been accomplished in spite of the unprecedented and inhumane sanctions imposed by hostile forces, namely the United States and the Security Council, which first and foremost threatened the life and wellbeing of children and represented a serious challenge for the protection of their rights.  The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea welcomed the dialogue for genuine protection of human rights including the rights of the child, was keen to interact with anyone who acted impartially and in good faith, but it strongly rejected politically motivated dialogue based on false testimonies of the fugitives from justice.

Committee Experts welcomed the strengthening of the legislative framework in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea by the adoption of the law on the protection of the rights of the child and the ratification of the Optional Protocol on the sale of children.  A child, defined as a person up to the age of 16 was not in compliance with the Convention, Experts noted and raised concern about the consequent participation of children aged 17 and 18 in the armed forces and in the labour and construction brigades.  The delegation was asked about the lack of a comprehensive policy for children’s protection, the existence of independent monitoring mechanism, the application of the principle of best interest of the child, and the role of civil society organization in the formulation of child policies as well as their independence .  Throughout the interactive dialogue, issues of discrimination particularly in the context of the so-called "Songbun" system of social stratification, situation of children with disabilities, and access to the Internet, were thoroughly discussed.  The quality of education and the need for inclusive education for children with disabilities was the subject of much discussion, and Experts expressed concern about the agricultural work imposed on schoolchildren, and the labour exploitation of children by teachers and farmers.

In closing, Ambassador Han said that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea would give serious consideration to the Committee’s concluding remarks and take appropriate measures to ensure best interest of the child in the future.

Kirsten Sandberg, Committee Rapporteur for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , said it was hard to believe that there were so few problems in the protection of children’s rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and stressed that more data were needed to understand the reality on the ground.

The delegation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea included representatives of the Presidium of Supreme People’s Assembly, Ministry of Public Health, Commission of Education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Central Court of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and the Permanent Mission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to the United Nations Office at Geneva.

The Committee will next meet in public on Thursday 21 September at 10 a.m., to start the review, by videoconference, of the second periodic report of Vanuatu under the Convention (CRC/C/VUT/2) and its two initial reports, one under the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography (CRC/C/OPSC/VUT/1) and another under the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict (CRC/C/OPAC/VUT/1). 

Report

The fifth periodic report of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (CRC/C/PRK/5) can be accessed here.

Presentation of the Reports

HAN TAE SONG, Permanent Representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the United Nations, explained that his was a socialist people-centred State which placed the human being at the heart of all considerations, and where the protection and promotion of the rights and welfare of children was a top priority.  During the 2008-2015 period, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had adopted a series of legislative and practical measures for the protection and promotion of the rights of the child, which included the adoption of the law on the protection of the rights of the child and the promulgation of a decree establishing the compulsory education system of 12 years.  Measures had been put in place to promote the secondary level education of children with disabilities and provide them with good conditions for their learning, life and reintegration.  The country had also strengthened the functions of the National Committee for the Implementation of International Human Rights Treaties which made recommendations and proposals to Government agencies and law enforcement bodies in order to harmonize the laws of the country with the relevant conventions.  The Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography had been ratified in November 2016, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had also signed and ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and amended the legislation to bring it into line with this treaty.

Thanks to the priority accorded to the childhood by the supreme leader, Comrade Kim Jong-un, children in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea today were considered the country's treasure and the masters of the future.  The supreme leader himself had attended the congresses of the Children's Union and guided the construction of schoolchildren’s palaces, children’s hospitals, baby and children’s homes in different parts of the country.  All this had been accomplished in spite of the continuing hostile policy and unprecedented sanctions imposed by hostile forces, namely the United States and the United Nations Security Council, said the Ambassador.  Children were extremely vulnerable to economic embargo which seriously threatened their right to life and was a serious challenge for the protection of children’s rights.  Such inhuman sanctions must be lifted without conditions and without delay, urged the Ambassador.  Despite ongoing political and military threats, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea nevertheless made strenuous efforts to accomplish the Five-Year Strategy for the Development of the National Economy 2016-2020, whose implementation would bring about a new turn in the efforts to realize the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as it aimed to lay down the sustainable foundation for the economy and radically improve people’s livelihoods. 

There was still room for improvement and much remained to be done to implement the Convention, noted the Ambassador, particularly in the areas of education and health.  In this regard, the country attached great importance to international cooperation, but categorically rejected the politicization, selectivity and double standards, as well as any attempts to realize ulterior political ends under the pretext of human rights issues.  It also welcomed the dialogue for genuine protection of human rights including the rights of the child, and strongly rejected politically motivated dialogue based on false testimonies of the fugitives from justice.  As the visit to Pyongyang by the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities last May had shown, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was keen to interact with anyone who acted impartially and in good faith.  The participation in this review also demonstrated the country’s commitment to cooperate fully with the international community in the promotion and protection of human rights, concluded Mr. Han.

Questions from the Experts

KIRSTEN SANDBERG, Committee Expert and Rapporteur for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, noted the progress made, including the ratification of the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and the adoption of the law on the protection of the rights of children.   Did it include the provisions on freedom from violence and protection from all forms of exploitation and could the delegation share the information on its implementation?  Had there been evaluations conducted by independent organizations?

Was the National Plan of Action for the Wellbeing of Children covering only education, health and food, or was there a comprehensive child rights policy in place for all areas demanding child protection, including child labour, trafficking and violence?  It appeared that various Governmental bodies were in charge of different sectors, but the overall coordination seemed to be lacking in spite of the creation of the National Committee for the Implementation of International Human Rights Instruments.  Were there any plans to set up a high level coordination body?

The allocation of resources to health and education stood at six to eight per cent of the national budget – could this be increased?  What resources had been allocated to other areas of child protection, or to children in vulnerable situations and how was resource allocation protected in times of crisis?  There was a lack of published information and official data, remarked the Rapporteur and asked about the plans to establish a comprehensive data collection system.

A complaint mechanism seemed to exist within the State institutions – were there plans to establish the institution of children’s Ombudsman?  The children’s rights seemed not to be well known in the country - how was the Convention disseminated in practice and how was the Government implementing its 2014 Universal Periodic Review to improve the dissemination of international standards?

The law on the protection of the rights of children defined a child as any person until the age of 16, which did not confirm to the definition in the Convention.  Could the delegation comment?

VELINA TODOROVA, Committee Expert and Rapporteur for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, expressed appreciation for the prohibition of discrimination envisaged in the law on the protection of the rights of children, and expressed concern about the risks of discrimination against children on the grounds of the economic, social or political status of their parents?

How did the songbun system - the division of members of society into several predefined categories according to their supposed affinity with the existing social system - affect the access of children to basic services such as education, health and even food?  Ms. Todorova asked whether children of parents from different songbun levels enjoyed the same life opportunities and why separate schools had been set up for non-Koreans which were also attended by 200 Chinese students.

The Rapporteur was concerned about the access of children from remote areas to secondary and higher education and asked if language and computer classes were included in the curriculum and if the students had access to the Internet? 

What were the results of the plan to prevent forced labour mobilization of school children based on the Law on the Implementation of Teaching Programmes?

What measures had been undertaken to increase the enrolment rates of deaf and blind children and what support was available to them at the pre-school level and in higher education?

On the best interest of the child, the delegation was asked how it was integrated in the family law which seemed to favour the mother, if guidelines on the implementation of the principle were available for the professionals working with children as well as for state officials, and how the principle was put in practice in divorce, adoption or placement in care.  Was it true that there were restrictions on the contact of the child with a parent who lived abroad?

Nearly 17,000 children lived in institutions run by the State, remarked the Rapporteur, noting that the placement in foster family was seemingly non-existent.  What were the conditions for adoption?

What measures were taken to improve the nutritional situation of children and how the views of children were taken into consideration including in the courts?

BENYAM MEZMUR, Committee Expert and Rapporteur for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, asked whether there was a universal birth registration procedure, seeing how only 15 days were allowed for registration.  What happened if parents were late?  Were there cases of stateless children, and what was the process of acquiring citizenship?

What limitations were imposed on the freedom of expression outside the formal framework of official organizations, and to the freedom of religion?  What examples could be cited of the exercise of the right to freedom of assembly?  On privacy, could the delegation comment on accusations of phone tapping?

The Committee had recommended earlier that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea set up an oversight mechanism to report torture and ill-treatment of children, and also set up a toll-free helpline for children, while in its Universal Periodic Review, the country had received a recommendation to abolish corporal punishment in all settings – what was the status of the implementation of those recommendations? 

Had there been any complaints lodged by any institution against corporal punishment, torture, ill-treatment and what accountability was undertaken?

The report was silent on the issue of sexual abuse so the delegation was asked to  provide data.

Other Experts asked if children had access to the Internet and whether it was possible to make the webcast of the interactive dialogue available to children in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.  Were non-governmental organizations involved in the drafting of the report and were they consulted in the formulation of child policies?

Replies by the Delegation

Responding to questions raised by the Committee Experts, the delegation said that the currently, a child was defined as a person up to the age of 16.  , which was the age of completion of the secondary school.  The majority of young people left secondary school at the age of 16; they then received a citizenship card, could vote and be elected, and become a full member of society.  The definition of child was a subject to much debate, with some voices asking it be raised to the age of 18 years in line with the requirement of the Convention.  Now, with 12-year compulsory schooling which had entered into force in 2014, young people would leave school at the age of 18, which would bring the matter in compliance with the Convention.

Corporal punishment was clearly prohibited in the law on the protection of the rights of children and all incidents were reported to relevant intuitions with remedy mechanisms in place.  The delegation would consider integrating this issue within the National Plan of Action for the Wellbeing of Children, whose main priorities were education and health.

The issues of sexual abuse, trafficking and violence against children were not considered to be prominent problems in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea; those issues were addressed by the law on the protection of the rights of children which prescribed adequate monitoring and sanction mechanisms.

The complaint mechanism was very well developed and included in the Constitution and the laws.  Institutions had been set up on local and national levels and officials had been appointed to receive complaints on the human rights violations.  Article 20 of the law on the protection of the rights of children regulated the right to file complaints, and complaint mechanisms were established in schools as well.

With regard to the dissemination of the Convention, the delegation explained that all international human rights treaties to which the country was a party were widely disseminated through various channels, including at the university level.  In addition, the media played an important role in promoting awareness of the Convention, which was also taught at the primary and secondary levels.  Various books published in the country dealt with international treaties.  The Democratic People's Republic of Korea also had a highly developed system of law education and the Internet was widely used at the local level to introduce students to national and international law. 

Regarding the role and independence of civil society organizations, the delegation cited several associations, including the Korean Education Fund, the Korean Federation for the Protection of Persons with Disabilities, the Korean Association for Family Planning and Maternal Health, and explained that their task was to conduct assessment of the implementation of laws, promote human rights and cooperate with international organizations.  The Korean Association for Supporting the Child worked on health promotion and nutrition, the Women’s Union was also included in promotion of rights, making it a nationwide effort, and all civil society organization were active in providing recommendations to the Government on the implementation of the National Plan of Action for the Wellbeing of Children and the law on the protection of the rights of children.

Non-governmental organizations were members of the National Committee for the Implementation of International Human Rights Instruments, so when policies were designed, they were invited to provide input and recommendations.  The Korean Federation for the Protection of Persons with Disabilities was very much involved in monitoring and raising awareness, and the Korean Education Fund worked on assisting disaster stricken areas.  The independence of those organizations was fully guaranteed, without any Government interference or limitation, to the extent that they acted within the framework of the law, stressed the delegation.

In response to a question on the use of the Internet, the delegation explained that there was public control of this medium in order to give preference to access to positive information for children.  In addition, all children had access to the Intranet.  The delegation assured the Committee that this review would be disseminated to children in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The principle of non-discrimination was guaranteed by the Constitution and legal acts. Benefits were provided to all children without any discrimination, and children with disabilities, as well as children on islands and in mountainous areas were provided protection.  Ten education institutions had been renovated in remote areas, to reduce the urban-rural divide.  In 2015 and 2016, over 40 baby homes, children homes and boarding schools had been renovated, providing excellent living conditions.  The people's committees, as well as the educational and sports associations, ensured that children with disabilities were not left out, and encouraged their full participation in public life, on an equal basis with other children.

Questions by the Committee Experts

VELINA TODOROVA, Committee Expert and Rapporteur for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, asked questions on separation and alternative care, including on the availability of special services for the child to maintain personal relations with a parent in detention.  Since there was a strong anti-divorce policy in place, were special counselling measures offered to citizens?  The laws seemed to favour the role of mother in upbringing of the child, she noted and asked whether in custody cases, courts could assess each case in order to ensure best interest of the child. 

Concerning children deprived of family environment, it was unclear on what grounds a child could be placed in the care of the State, noted Ms. Todorova, asking about the plans to deinstitutionalize children and introduce foster and other forms of alternative care.  Adoption was considered as a purely administrative affair, which raised a question if it was implemented in the best interest of the child.

ANN SKELTON, Committee Expert and Rapporteur for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, took up the situation of children with disabilities and asked the delegation to provide the statistics, and to inform how many children with disabilities were born annually, and measures taken when a child was born with severe disabilities.  How were disabilities diagnosed, by whom, and under which criteria?  The Committee had received reports that there were legal restrictions of children with disabilities living in Pyongyang due to legal restrictions - was this true? 

Ms. Skelton stressed the importance of inclusive education, including in the recommendations by the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and asked about the country’s position on this issue.

Schoolchildren were officially assigned three weeks per year to agricultural work, said the Expert, noting the reports of the labour exploitation of children by teachers and farmers, who forced them to work for four weeks in the fields, with children sometimes working up to ten hours a day.  The authorities were aware of those abuses, she said and asked where there had been any processions.  Could the delegation comment on the reports of children taking part in construction brigades, and also inform on steps taken to prevent the forced mobilization for work?  How many hours of the school day were dedicated to ideological training and obedience to leadership?

Ms. Skelton asked a series of questions about the legal status of Korean children born in China, especially when they want to return, and whether there was a system of juvenile justice in place.  There were reports of the incarceration of children with their parents in camps under the concept of "guilt by association".

Other Experts asked what had been done to reduce child mortality rates, particularly in rural areas, how the medicine distribution was assessed in rural areas, and whether everyone could access it freely.  Were hospitals sufficiently funded and did they all have electricity and water supply?  How long was the maternity leave and what support was provided during its duration?

KIRSTEN SANDBERG, Committee Expert and Rapporteur for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, said that there were reports of children being trafficked to China and asked what happened to them upon their return to the country.   What protection mechanisms were in place for victims of trafficking in persons? 

Ms. Sandberg also asked about the steps taken to prevent recruitment of children, if peace education was a part of the school curricula, and the programmes in place to assist street children.  On juvenile justice, was there a specialized system for children in conflict with the law, with specialized judges, and what the social education as a correctional measure implied?

Replies by the Delegation

The delegation responded to questions raised of the adoption and explained that as the age of entry into the primary school was six, this was also considered the age at which children were mature enough to give their consent to adoption.

The law envisaged that all births should be registered by the people’s security organs within 15 days.; this limit was mandatory and a starting point for all social services which could be provided to children, but there were no sanctions for the non-respect of the deadline.

The songbun system did not exist in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, insisted the delegation.  It was an imaginary concept invented by forces hostile to the Pyongyang Government.  There was no discrimination under the laws or in practice as the principles of unity and equality were central to the functioning of society.  People and children with disabilities were a priority concern for the Government and did not face discrimination.

Forced child labour did not exist in Democratic People's Republic of Korea where all Government officials were regarded as servants of the people.

On the issue of health, the delegation stated that the Ministry of Public Health had adopted series of strategies and polices, including on reproductive health, education for reproductive health, malaria control, health of newborn, nutrition and the management of childhood diseases.  Some of those strategies had already been implemented and some were in the course of implementation.  New institutions had been established for the promotion of children’s health and the management of child’s homes and baby homes was under the auspices of the Ministry of Public Health.  The Association for the Support of the Child had been created to provide improved services to children with disabilities.

On the questions raised on health, the delegation said that there were over 21,000 nurseries in the country, which were inspected monthly for compliance with the hygiene and sanitary standards.  New norms on nutrition had been developed and nutrition standards had been raised in nurseries, prescribing that 26 kinds of nutritious foods had to be provided to children.  Goat keeping was encouraged so that children could be provided with goat milk.  According to the law on public health, all hospitals were evenly distributed across the country; they were well equipped and had paediatric, obstetric and gynaecological sections.  There was one doctor per 135 families, who were all closely aware of all their issues and also provided counselling to adolescents.

In maternal and reproductive health, a paid maternity leave has been extended from 180 to 240 days in 2015.  State allowances were given to women with several children.  All companies and factories had crèches, which was a widespread system of childcare in the country, with the law stating that a crèche must not be located more than 500 meters from the mother's place of work.  Crèches must meet very high standards and the nurses working there must undergo rigorous training; the parents could lodge a complaint if they had reservations about the competence of the staff.  In addition to the parents, the family doctor was available and competent to inform adolescents about sex education, the delegation said, acknowledging that this was not a topic that the young people spontaneously addressed. 

Integrated management of child illness was implemented through the strategy for expanded health management in 11 provinces.  New guidelines in line with the international standards had been adopted and workshops had been held.
 
Questions by the Committee Experts

BENYAM MEZMUR, Committee Expert and Rapporteur for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, informed the delegation that the Committee had already examined the country’s replies to the  List of Issues and urged the delegation to address the more pertinent questions that the Experts asked.

KIRSTEN SANDBERG, Committee Expert and Rapporteur for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, stated that persons of the age of 16 and 17 did take part in the labour brigades, except they had not been treated as children anymore.  Could the definition of child at the age of 16 be raised at least for labour brigades so that persons under the age of 18 could not participate in an activity which was considered to be child labour? 

The delegation stated that there were 41 residential institutions in which over 16,000 children without parents were housed, meaning that there were 400 children per institution.  Was this in the best interest of the child, since evidence from other counties showed that institutional care was not the best option for children?

Other Experts asked whether the Ministry of People’s Security and the Ministry of State Security had a mechanism to report violations against children committed by security personnel against children while performing their duties. 

If freedom of movement existed under the Constitution, what was considered to be an illegal border crossing?  What measures had been adopted to fight HIV/AIDS?

VELINA TODOROVA, Committee Expert and Rapporteur for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, pointed to the section of report which had stated that minors who accompanied adults did not need to have travel documents on border crossings – could the delegation comment?  Was the country considering to join the International Labour Organization and was there a system for early detection of children with disabilities?

Replies by the Delegation

The delegation responded to the questions on health and said that the medical supply system functioned across the country and that the law on free medical care applied to all children.   All hospitals had regular supply of water and electricity to hospitals; electricity generators were in place to ensure continuous supply in rare instances of electricity shortages.  A strategy for the health care of adolescents had been adopted and the Korean Association for Family Planning had been established to work with adolescents; counselling and advice to adolescents was also provided by the family doctors.

In the field of education, the delegation explained that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea used the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization evaluation grid to assess the quality of public education.  There had been 11 years of compulsory education since 1972, which in 2015 had been extended to 12 years.

On the issue of child labour, the delegation affirmed that labour beyond what was expected in curriculum was prohibited under the law and the strict supervising system was in place.  Young people also learned the basic agricultural techniques from the peasantry, said a delegate, assuring the Committee that the maximum duration of the work of the fields was limited to three weeks per year.  This was also a means of giving the children the love of their homeland.  The abuses of the provision of three weeks per year by teachers had been punished. 

Concerning the construction and labour brigades, the delegation said that there were no such practices; secondary school leavers could take part in work camps if they wanted to contribute to development of their country and this was not a question of forced labour.

Regarding the hours dedicated to ideological teaching, the delegation stated that each country could decide what to teach its children.  Ideology education was considered as important as well as other subjects, but the State also placed great value on science and technology and on artistic and sporting disciplines.  Since 2008, computer courses had been offered from the third year of primary school, as well as an introduction to foreign languages.

As far as sexual education was concerned, the delegation said that in addition to the parents, the family doctor is available and competent to inform adolescents about sex education.  The Education Commission in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Health had published information in this area. 

With regards to the recruitment of children in armed forces, the delegation said that, considering the threats by the outside hostile forces it was natural to prepare children for defense by providing them with knowledge on military affairs.  Persons aged 16 and 17 who had graduated secondary school could join the army, and this was not considered to represent the recruitment of children.  Peace education was part of curriculum under related subjects, as envisaged under the Sustainable Development Goals.

Under the law, a child was allowed to maintain contact with incarcerated parent unless the contact was not in the best interest of the child.  Children could not stay with the mother in prison.  A couple wanting to get a divorce would first apply for counselling; a custody of the child under the age of three was always given to the mother.

The allegation that returnee children were exposed to mistreatment upon their return was a misinformation, the delegation said.  There had been a lot of border crossings into northern China, especially during the 1990’s, but most people had obtained permits, stayed there for several months and then returned to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  The issue of human trafficking was inconceivable in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, though the hostile forces of South Korea had been consistently committing such acts in the border area, including the attempts to abduct children.

Torture and violence were prohibited by the Criminal Code which proscribed strict legal sanctions for any abuse or maltreatment.  There had been no reports of the security officers ever committing an offense against children.

With regard to children of Chinese ancestry, it was the local security organs that processed the request for granting citizenship, with the final decision being taken in Pyongyang.  China did not allow dual citizenship, thus a the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea national wishing to obtain Chinese nationality had to renounce his or her nationality at birth.  A child applying for the Chinese nationality first had to contact the Chinese consulate or the corresponding institution in China to receive the guarantee of obtaining Chinese citizenship.  It was only when this guarantee was obtained that steps could be taken to renounce the Korean nationality.  It was possible that state of temporary statelessness occurred in such processes.

Illegal border crossing was an offence under the Immigration Law by people who did not have proper travel documents.   The Korean Federation for the Protection of Persons with Disabilities was a non-governmental organization that had been involved in the drafting of the report, and was also regularly consulted on the policy formulation in this area.

Concerning the cooperation with international organizations, the United Nations Children’s Fund, World Health Organization, and the United Nations Population Fund had been offering their valuable assistance since 1995, particularly in the provision of medicine, food, and training of doctors and nurses.  However, as a result of the sanctions, this cooperation had been drastically decreased.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was considering the introduction of inclusive education.  Currently, there were special schools for deaf and blind, and it would take time for children with disabilities to be fully included in regular schools.  There was no special system for early detection of children with disabilities.

On deinstitutionalization, the Government was aware that family environment was the best for children’s upbringing, and was actively encouraging people to adopt children and provide alternative care.

Many discussions were taking place on joining the International Labour Organization, but the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea could not do so as it could not fulfil the requirement of the workers and employers’ representation.

Closing Remarks

HAN TAE SONG, Permanent Representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the United Nations, expressed hope that this constructive dialogue positively contributed towards the improvement of the children’s rights.  The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea would give serious consideration to the Committee’s concluding remarks and would take appropriate measures to ensure best interest of the child in the future.

KIRSTEN SANDBERG, Committee Expert and Rapporteur for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, thanked the delegation for a very interesting opportunity to discuss the children rights.  The Committee found it hard to believe that there were so few problems in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, she said and underlined that having a law against something was not sufficient to prevent it from occurring.  More data collection was needed, as this would be the only way to find what was happening on the ground.  The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea should encourage children’s participation and expression and should act upon the Committee’s recommendations.

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