On the 27th April, Fiona Bruce MP, Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on North Korea, spoke briefly at a Westminster Hall debate on Violence against Women and Girls and the Sustainable Development Goals.
I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on securing this debate. Will he join me in condemning the state-sanctioned violence against women and girls in North Korea? Technically, that country joined in support of the SDGs last autumn, but it operates violence against women and girls as a tool of oppression. Even the UN has described it in a report as having human rights violations that ‘reveal a State that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world’.
Those violations include: sexual violence; exploitation; rape; forced abortion; human trafficking; institutional, economic and psychological violence; slavery; and torture, even until death. Does the hon. Gentleman agree that the UK must use what limited engagement it has with North Korea—it is mainly via the Foreign and Commonwealth Office—to press for change? Also, will he join with me and other parliamentarians in putting on the record that the abused women of North Korea are not forgotten here?
This was the first time that the issue of VAWG committed against North Korean women and children had been raised in the Houses of Parliament since the APPG’s dedicated conference in February.