UPDATE: UN Treaty Collection website confirms North Korea as a ratifying state as of December 6, 2016.
North Korea has decided to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), state media reported on Friday.
According to the article on Naenara, the decision was made by the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) – North Korea’s legislature – on November 23.
The article claimed that North Koreans enjoy full human rights and that, “Disabled people are no exception. They exercise their rights and lead a happy life without any distinction.”
North Korea had previously signed the convention in 2013 and has remained an observer until ratifying it on Wednesday. In order for the ratification to take effect, the article of ratification must be deposited with the Secretary-General.
NK News was unable to receive confirmation that the Secretary-General has received the article, however once concluded, the ratification of the CRPD would be present on the UN Treaty Collections database.
As of Friday morning, the DPRK was still listed as being a signatory and not a state that has ratified the convention.
Despite its continual claims that its people enjoy full human rights, North Korea possesses one of the world’s worst, if not the worst, human rights records.
A UN Commission of Inquiry into North Korean human rights published a detailed report in 2014 cataloguing a series of abuses that in certain instances amounted to crimes against humanity.
North Korea has made efforts to publicize its positive treatment of disabled persons by holding concerts and events involving disabled persons as well as promoting disabled sporting events in country.
However, while presenting positive treatment of disabled persons, a lack of access given to UN human rights officials prevents the organization’s ability to confirm North Korea’s claims or counter attain credible evidence of improved disabled person rights.
Claims of gross mistreatment and experiments upon disabled persons in North Korea have been made by those who have escaped the country.
The new UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in North Korea, Tomás Ojea Quintana, has stated that he is trying to gain access to the country in order to further conduct his work. Previous requests for Special Rapporteur access have been unsuccessful.
The announcement of the ratification comes in the run up to the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), which occurs on December 3.
While state media has highlighted disabled events and rights in the country, leader Kim Jong Un has yet to appear publicly with disabled persons, as he has done with orphans in North Korea while promoting the country’s efforts to provide for them.
Featured Image: The United Nations by condour on 2004-04-30 17:01:24