The Abuse of Women in the DPRK

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP, Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on North Korea, has raised the plight of women in the DPRK with the Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In two written questions, the MP for the Cotswolds asked “what discussions the British Embassy in Pyongyang has had with DPRK officials on reports…of widespread use of sexual violence against women within the Workers’ Party of Korea, the government of the DPRK and the Korean People’s Army,” and whether the UK government will “consider funding non-UNHCR programmes that support trafficked and abused North Korean women in China.”

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP

In response to Clifton-Brown MP, who recently chaired an APPG North Korea meeting on the role of North Korean refugee women in peace-building, Hugo Swire, Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, noted that the UK government has “urged the DPRK authorities, through both our Embassy in Pyongyang and the DPRK Embassy in London, to respond in detail to the contents of the [UN Commission of Inquiry] and to address the violations that it documents. The DPRK continues to reject the Commission’s findings and will not engage on the detail of the Commission’s report.”

Responding to the APPG’s Vice-Chair on UK-funding for programmes for trafficked and abused North Korean women in China, Desmond Swayne MP, Minister of State for the Department for International Development, commented: “We have no plans to provide funding for non-United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees programmes that support trafficked and abused North Korean women in China. The Department for International Development does not have a bilateral aid programme in North Korea and our bilateral aid programme in China closed in March 2011.”

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