Nobel Peace Prize winner calls on international community to come together for NK human rights

Kim Ga Young  |  2015-10-02 15:31

Winner of the 1980 Nobel Peace Prize, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, an Argentine human rights activist, has been drawing more attention over his call for international cooperation to improve North Korean human rights. 

On September 23rd, Esquivel uploaded a call for support statement on his self-run webpage Servicio Paz Y Justicia (SERPAJ) under the title Derechos humanos en Corea del Norte (North Korean Human Rights).

North Korea has defied the international communitys demand to improve its human rights and related resolutions set forth by the UN. If we are to attempt to really unravel this situation, it will take the cooperation of countries such as China and others that stake in the North, the statement read. 

As an extremely militarized country, there is no such thing as freedom in North Korea--not politically, socially, or even culturally. North Korea is a place where systematic violence, misery, and uncertainty pervade. Just as was previously the case in many South American countries--including Argentina--North Korea is a place where the oppression of human rights and kidnappings carried out by the government continue to this day. 

Esquivel went on to say that while the UNs efforts like the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the DPRK (COI) are great steps forward but are still inadequate.   

I say this because they have failed in the creation of effective sanctions or judiciary measures to ensure the North Korean people any kind of true freedom, he asserted. 

Added Esquivel in his call for action, Now is the time to go beyond calling out North Korea on its human rights abuses and for countries with related interests with the North to examine policies to improve the human rights situation. 

The activist also called on the international community to review North Korea policies and find ways to induce Pyongyang to uphold the human rights of its people in the future. 

Not being able to meet your family members for decades due to the countrys division is another major violation of human rights, he said. The global community must come together to find a way for the South and North to resume family reunions and pave the way to unifying the Korean Peninsula. 

Esquivel was born on November 26, 1931 in Argentina and fought against rampant human rights violations in the 1970s in Latin America through nonviolent civil disobedience movements. He was imprisoned from 1977 to 1978 under the military leadership in the country but later in 1980 he received the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition for his work.

*Translated by Jiyeon Lee and Austin Nay

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