U.N.: North Korea Transfers People With Disabilities To 'Special
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 20, 2006
NEW YORK, NEW YORK--People with disabilities living in North Korea's capital, Pyongyang, are routinely gathered up by the government, then sorted according to disability, and sent off to special camps known as "Ward 49", according to a United Nations human rights official.
Vitit Muntarbhorn, who has been designated to report on human rights in North Korea, wrote in a report released Thursday that the government blatantly violates the human rights of people with disabilities.
Along with subjecting people to "subhuman conditions" at the camps, the violations reportedly include torture, refusal to give food aid to citizens, prohibiting some groups from marrying or having children, and harsh punishments for any who try to leave the country.
Because North Korean officials have not allowed Muntarbhorn into the country, much of his report was based on other sources, including defectors and a 2005 study published by the Korea Institute for National Unification, a South Korean government think tank.
North Korean representative Sin Song Chol rejected Muntarbhorn's conclusions, adding that all UN resolutions denouncing North Korea only serve political interests and do not have anything to do with genuine human rights concerns.