January – May 2020

NK Watch appreciates all the efforts people have made to overcome this difficult time. We are thankful that the COVID-19 situation is getting better.

NK Watch was supposed to participate in the 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council, Geneva, Switzerland from March 3rd to 8th, 2020. The organization planned to deliver an oral statement at the session, calling for the abolition of Political Prison Camp, finding the whereabouts of political prisoners, and improving the rights of prisoners in North Korea. Also, NK Watch planned to hold a side event in order to present changes in Political Prison Camps in accordance with international human rights advocacy. However, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Titiana Valovaya, the director-General of the United Nations at Geneva, sent a letter that asked abroad participants to refrain from participating the session. Thus, NK Watch looks forward to participate in next year’s session. (Please refer to the file below for further details.)

In accordance with the ‘social distancing’ campaign by the South Korean government, NK Watch staff worked from home and at the office alternatively. The working hour was also changed for the safety of its staff. NK Watch is currently back to its regular working hours. In response to the COVID-19 situation, NK Watch plans to be flexible in staff’s work schedules for their health and welfare.

Despite this difficult time, NK Watch is still actively pursuing to improve North Korean human rights. NK Watch continues to work for filing petitions. In addition, NK Watch plans to publish a report titled ‘Changes of North Korean human rights in accordance with International Advocacy’ soon. The report discusses the effects and impacts of international human rights advocacy on the situation of human rights in North Korea. (How NK Watch will share the report will be announced later.)

All members of the international community are currently facing a difficult time due to the COVID-19 situation. However, NK Watch truly believes that the cooperation and discussion of people around the world will help to overcome this difficult situation. North Koreans are also having a hard time because of COVID-19. NK watch hopes that North Koreans will overcome this situation and become free from all violations and oppressions.

We wish everyone to stay safe and healthy.

Thank you,

NK Watch