The United Nations Human Rights Council established the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) in 2013, tasked with investigating the alleged systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights in North Korea, with a view to ensuring full accountability, particularly for violations which may amount to crimes against humanity. The Hon Michael Kirby was appointed as Chair of this Commission. As part of its investigations, the Commission conducted public hearings with more than 80 victims and other witnesses in Seoul, Tokyo, London and Washington D.C. The Commission’s report was made public in February 2014 and detailed many alleged crimes against humanity arising from ‘policies established at the highest level of State’ and called for urgent action from the international community. In this public lecture, Mr Kirby will be talking about his work on the Commission and the human rights situation in North Korea.
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A transcript of the speech is available below.