BY: POOJA KAUSHAL
According to a draft report released on Thursday. A United Nation human rights official has called on the International community to urgently consider lifting sanctions on North Korea which can be worsening problems from its coronavirus lockdown since the very starting of pandemic.
With ever tighter measures imposed in recent years on North Korea. North Korea, which has not reported any confirmed infections, has been subjected to UN sanctions since 2006 over its nuclear and missile programs.
It imposed strict border controls this year among tough measures against the virus, just when it had been reeling from sanctions, also as “systemic economic problems and unusually inclemency conditions,” Tomas Ojea Quintana wrote.
While the North’s structures aims to guard its people’s rights to life and health, the severe lockdowns have had a “devastating” effect on trade, added Quintana, who is that the United Nations’ special rapporteur on human rights in North Korea .
The fallout on trade, in turn, threatens food supplies and access to humanitarian aid, he said within the report, which is to be submitted next week to the UN General Assembly.
He concluded that, “Under the unprecedented situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Special Rapporteur believes that the international responsibility for re-evaluating the sanctions regime is more urgent than ever”.
Greater implementation of sanctions has began to “seriously affect the whole economy of the country,” with adverse consequences for people’s economic and social rights, he added.
North Korea’s dire human rights situation also stands to be exacerbated by the pandemic, through increased surveillance and control of its population and reduced contact with the remainder of the planet , Quintana said.
He said within the report that the recent shooting of a South Korean fisheries official by North Korean border troops seemed to be an unlawful and arbitrary killing of a civilian, in violation of international human rights law.
He involved Pyongyang to supply more details of the case, while holding to account those responsible, compensating the man’s family, and preventing similar incidents in future.
There are not any officially confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Korea. The borders went on complete lockdown at the start of the year. due to this fewer people are ready to flee North Korea , which Quintana said means knowledge of the human rights conditions inside the country is worse than ever.
Another issue that Quintana highlighted is food insecurity. The people in North Korea are malnourished, and with the closed borders and lockdowns, their access to food is even more restricted, having a negative impact especially on malnourished children. If the international community were to reduce sanctions then food may become more accessible and help to stay children nourished, wrote Quintana.
Finally, Quintana believes that unless sanctions are loosened, the increased isolation and surveillance of the people will cause even more human rights violations. He urged the international community to try to to what they will to bring peace to the conflict within the Korea .