Korea, Democratic People's Republic of

Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor


The following information reports U.S. Government priorities and activities to promote democracy and human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). For background on the DPRK's human rights conditions, please see the 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and the International Religious Freedom Report at 2009-2017.state.gov.

Part 1: U.S. Government Democracy Objectives

The United States consistently works to raise international awareness about the DPRK's human rights abuses and to identify concrete ways to improve human rights conditions. The United States seeks to improve citizens' access to independent sources of information and to provide opportunities to increase their engagement with, and exposure to, the outside world.

Part 2: Supporting Top Priorities and Other Aspects of Human Rights and Democratic Governance

In 2010 the U.S. Government continued to implement the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004 and its 2008 reauthorization. During the year the U.S. special envoy for North Korea human rights issues has continued to raise international awareness of the country's human rights abuses. U.S. programs provide funding to NGOs that raise international awareness about the country's human rights record, document abuses, and promote the development of civil society. In addition, the U.S. Government continues to support efforts to increase the flow of independent information, primarily through radio broadcasts, into the country.

U.S. officials raise awareness of the country's human rights abuses with the international community in both bilateral and multilateral fora. At the UN Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the DPRK, the United States provided specific recommendations to the government to improve its human rights record. The United States also takes a leading role in urging other countries to undertake efforts to address the country's abuses, including cosponsoring resolutions on the country's human rights situation at the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council, supporting the mandate of the UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK and his requests for access to the country, and coordinating with other countries to encourage the government to accept UPR recommendations. U.S. officials also urge other governments to call for improvements in the DPRK's respect for human rights. During the year the U.S. Government recognized a North Korean defector with an International Women of Courage Award, honoring her life and her work to improve conditions for North Koreans living outside the country.