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

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 community’s 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 UN’s
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 country’s 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.

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