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North Korea: Migrant Workers

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL3167, tabled on 2 November 2015

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of North Korea about the comments by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in North Korea that each year more than 50,000 North Koreans are sent abroad to work in conditions that amount to slavery.

Answered on

16 November 2015

We fully support the work of the Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). On 29 October, we delivered a statement in the UN which welcomed his efforts to improve the lives of ordinary North Koreans while also urging the DPRK authorities to grant him immediate and unhindered access to their country. We will continue to deliver these messages.

The Special Rapporteur’s comments on forced labour are deeply concerning and, if accurate, appear to provide further evidence of the DPRK’s lack of respect for international norms. It is important that any country hosting North Korean workers respect their rights. We continue to press the DPRK to make tangible progress on improving its appalling human rights record, most recently in meetings in October between senior Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials and DPRK counterparts in London and Pyongyang.