December 08, 2021

The long hard slog to shine a light on North Korean human rights

What’s been did and what’s been hid: A look back at human rights accountability in DPRK

Today, February 17, the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the DPRK, set up last March by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC; not to be confused with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, whose acronym is very similar) held a live-streamed press conference in Geneva to mark the publication of its final report, in which Judge Michael Kirby warned that Kim Jong Un could be held personally accountable for crimes against humanity.

That’s how global democracy works, when it does. Technology makes a huge difference too. Imagine – or if you’re as old as I am, remember – if all this had happened just 20 years ago. If you were lucky and didn’t miss it, a brief snippet of the press conference might possibly have been shown on TV; no live-streaming back then. But you’d have had to send away for a paper copy of the report, wait for it to come in the post, and probably pay for the privilege.