Press Release — HRF to UN Special Rapporteur: Expose North Korean Fraud


The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) urges Catalina Devandas-Aguilar, United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, to consult with North Korean defectors who have first-hand experience with disability rights in North Korea on her scheduled visit to the country. During her visit from May 3 to May 8, the special rapporteur is meeting with regime representatives, U.N. officials, North Koreans living with disabilities, and the Korean Federation for the Protection of the Disabled (KFPD), a North Korean governmental organization. She has not said if she intends to meet with North Korean defectors or outside observers. Following the visit, Ms. Devandas-Aguilar will submit a report to the United Nations in March 2018.

Ms. Devandas-Aguilar’s visit marks the first time the North Korean regime has allowed a U.N. special rapporteur into the country since 2004. The goal of her visit is to investigate accessibility and healthcare provisions for North Korean citizens with disabilities. North Korea’s regime is notorious for gross human rights violations. The U.N. Commission of Inquiry’s 2014 report noted that North Korea has not ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and discrimination against people with disabilities is common. In February, a report by a group of independent experts appointed by the U.N. recommended that Kim Jong-un’s regime be referred to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies.

Contact: Prachi Vidwans, (212)246-8486,

TAKE ACTION! Call on the U.N. special rapporteur to consult with North Korean defectors before submitting her report to the United Nations.

CONTACT: Catalina Devandas-Aguilar, U.N. special rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities.

Address: OHCHR-UNOG; CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland