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United Nations Human Rights Office

 

The United Nations Human Rights Office represents the world's commitment to universal ideals of human dignity. We have a unique mandate from the international community to promote and protect all human rights.

The United Nations Human Rights Office's headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland. It has an office at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, country and regional offices, and human rights advisers assigned to United Nations Country Teams and United Nations peacekeeping missions around the world.

Learn more about the United Nations Human Rights Office here.



United Nations Human Rights Office (Seoul)

 

The United Nations Human Rights Office (Seoul) has been established in order to carry out these mandates:

  • Strengthen monitoring and documentation of the situation of human rights as steps towards establishing accountability in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
  • Enhance engagement and capacity-building with the Governments of all States concerned, civil society and other stakeholders
  • Maintain visibility of the situation of human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea including through sustained communications, advocacy and outreach initiatives

The structure and its staff function independently and in accordance with UN principles. 
Download UN Human Rights Office (Seoul) Leaflet​

     


How did it come about?


The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Seoul is a concrete follow-up to the report of the Commission of Inquiry on human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

On 21 March 2013, at its 22nd session, the United Nations Human Rights Council mandated the Commission of Inquiry on human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to investigate the systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. 

About a year later, the Commission of Inquiry submitted a report to the Human Rights Council, detailing its findings and recommendations. In a ​resolution in March 2014, the Human Rights Council requested the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to "follow up urgently on the recommendations made by the Commission of Inquiry" on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea" and provide the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea with increased support, including through the establishment of a field-based structure. 

     

The Accountability Project


The United Nations Human Rights Council decided at its 34th session to strengthen our capacity to monitor and document human rights violations in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, particularly those that may amount to crimes against humanity. In order to fulfill this decision, “the Accountability Project for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea” has been established, with staff in Geneva and Seoul.

The UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) continuously monitors the human rights situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea through interviews with escapees from the country and other sources. International criminal law experts analyse the information collected from these interviews and other stakeholders to determine whether it may amount to crimes under international law.

The Accountability Project has developed an electronic repository to collect this information. It is the first independent and comprehensive information system on human rights violations committed in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.  The repository will bring together information from a wide range of actors. Its purpose is to preserve information on human rights violations and possible international crimes for future accountability mechanisms to provide victims with their right to justice, to remedy, and to restoration of their dignity.

Read the Promoting accountability in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea - OHCHR Report (2019)



Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea


Mr. Tomás Ojea Quintana serves as the third Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea as of 1 August, 2016. Mr. Quintana is a lawyer, with more than 14 years of activities in the field of human rights. Prior to this appointment, he worked as the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar from 2008 to 201​4. He was also the Executive Director of the OHCHR Programme for Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in Bolivia. Previously, he represented the Argentinean NGO “Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo” in cases concerning child abduction during the military régime. [Photo: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré] 

The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was established by the UN Commission on Human Rights in 2004 (resolutio​n 2004/13), and the mandate has been renewed every year by the Human Rights Council. The Special Rapporteur is an independent expert who monitors and reports on the situation of human rights in the country and on the government's compliance with its obligations under international human rights law. He submits reports to the Human Rights Council and General Assembly annually.

Find press releases and statements by the Special Rapporteur here.


Previous Special Rapporteur​s


​Mr. Marzuki DARUSMAN
(Indonesia)

Mr. Vitit MUNTARBHORN
(Thailand)



Vacancies



Contact​ Information ​

Email: seoul@ohchr.org 
Phone: +82-2-725-3528

 

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