The 2014 UN Commission of Inquiry report into North Korea human rights abuses found that crimes against humanity, including extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions, persecution, deliberate starvation, and enforced disappearances, have been committed, “pursuant to policies at the highest level of the state”.
In the absence of any political transition on the Korean peninsula, some human rights groups have focused their energies on the development of novel strategies that seek to pave the way for future transitional justice processes, such as the documentation and mapping of human rights violations, and developing an understanding of what kinds of measures North Koreans see as the most important – from accountability to memorialisation.
The question for Australia is how it can help support these sorts of processes, through policy direction or through material support.
This event brings together the Chair of the UN Commission of Inquiry, The Hon. Michael Kirby AM, and North Korean defector and human rights activist, Timothy Cho, to discuss the challenges of transitional justice on the Korean peninsula.