20 Feb 2015
North Korea and the Responsibility to Protect

The human rights and humanitarian situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is dire. The DPRK government bears the primary Responsibility to Protect (R2P) its population from mass atrocity crimes, but is manifestly failing to do so. For decades the government has attempted to insulate itself from international scrutiny, however, in March 2013 the UN mandated a Commission in Inquiry (CoI) to investigate alleged abuses. The CoI published its findings in February 2014, establishing responsibility at the highest level of government for ongoing crimes against humanity, as well as other systematic and widespread human rights violations committed by the government against its people.

In this new brief, the Global Centre clarifies the application of R2P to the difficult, dangerous and complex situation in DPRK and offers recommendations to UN bodies and member-states for holding the DPRK government responsible for its actions.

* An earlier version of this brief was published in August 2014.