Conference news: The Commission of Inquiry — What Next?

News of a one-day conference organised by European Alliance for Human Rights in North Korea:

The Commission of Inquiry: What Next?

Venue: Ascham Room, Bloomsbury House, 2 – 3 Bloomsbury Square, London, WC1A 2RL
Date: Friday, March 11, 2016
Time: 9am – 5pm
Lunch will be provided.
Attendance is free. To register, email the address given on this eahrnk.org webpage by 4 March.

The report of the Commission of Enquiry is launched
The report of the Commission of Enquiry is launched (photo: UN)

In February 2014, a UN Commission of Inquiry on human rights in North Korea found that “The gravity, scale and nature of the violations reveal a State that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world.” Due to a paucity of ideas on how to substantively improve human rights, little has been done by the international community post-COI to implement recommendations. Join the European Alliance for Human Rights in North Korea for ‘The Commission of Inquiry: What Next?’ at the Ascham room, Bloomsbury House on the 11th of March for a conference dedicated to assessing the human rights situation, reflecting on the COI process, and generating ideas for improving human rights in North Korea. To register, email no later than the 4th of March.

Despite the abundance of evidence of crimes against humanity given at the hearings by almost 80 witnesses and victims, little has been done by the international community to implement recommendations, with only 1 substantive recommendation implemented – the opening of a field office. With participation from North Koreans, politicians, policymakers, leading international law experts and academics, tech experts, and Commissioner Justice Michael Kirby, ‘The Commission of Inquiry: What Next?’ seeks to develop cooperation mechanisms and consensus positions and support improvement in human rights in North Korea.

9:00 – 9:15 REGISTRATION
9:15 – 9:30: Welcoming speech Welcoming speech: TBD
9:30 – 9:50:
Keynote Speech
Keynote Speech: Lee Jung-Hoon, Republic of Korea’s Human Rights Ambassador
9:50 – 10:50: Session 1 Topic: North Korean Human Rights: The Current Situation

Moderator: Professor Remco Breuker, Leiden University
Presenter 1: Dr. Han Dong-Ho, Director of Center For North Korean Human Rights Studies, Korea Institute for National Unification
Testimony: Defector

Q&A (15minutes)

10:50 – 12:00: Session 2 Topic: A Human Rights Contact Group on North Korea: What Role for Europe?

Moderator: Katia Papagianni, Director for Policy and Mediation Support, HD Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue
Discussant: Kristian Herbolzheimer, Director of the Philippines and Colombia Programmes, Conciliation Resources
Discussant: James Burt, EAHRNK Research and Policy Officer

Q&A (15minutes)

12:00 – 13.00: Lunch LUNCH
13:00 – 13:10: Welcome back speech Welcome back speech: TBD
13:10 – 14:10: Session 3 Topic: The COI: A Perspective from North Korean Refugees

Moderator: William Schabas, Professor of International Law, Middlesex University
Speaker: Hyeon-a Ji, North Korean refugee
Speaker: Jihyun Park, EAHRNK Campaigns Officer and North Korean refugee

Q&A (15minutes)

14:15 – 15:20: Session 4 Topic: Ensuring Accountability: Transitional Justice on the Korean Peninsula

Moderator: Michael Glendinning, EAHRNK Director
Discussant: Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, leading international human rights lawyer
Discussant: Oh Se-hyek, Researcher for Transitional Justice Working Group and North Korean refugee.

Q&A (15minutes)

15:20 – 15:30: COFFEE BREAK COFFEE BREAK
15.30 – 15:40: Speech Speech from Jimmy Wales (invited), Wikipedia founder, on the role technology can play in improving human rights.
15:40 – 16:40: Session 5 Topic: Outreach and Communication with North Koreans

Moderator: Oliver Spencer, Head of Asia, Article 19
Discussant: Dan Damon, BBC journalist and radio broadcaster
Discussant: Jang Jin-sung, Founder of New Focus and North Korean refugee

16.40 – 17:00: Closing Topic: Tasks for the international community

Commissioner Michael Kirby

Attendance is free. To register, email the address given on this eahrnk.org webpage by 4 March.

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