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UN expert on human rights in DPRK to visit South Korea


GENEVA (11 February 2022) – The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Tomás Ojea Quintana, will conduct an official visit to South Korea from 15 to 23 February to meet South Korean Government officials, members of National Assembly and North Korean escapees, among others.

Despite repeated requests for a country visit, the DPRK has not granted the UN expert access. 

The visit will be his seventh to the Republic of Korea since his appointment by the Human Rights Council in March 2016. He last visited Seoul in June 2019. During his visit he is also scheduled to meet representatives of civil society, victims and their families, as well as members of the diplomatic community. 

The Special Rapporteur will hold a press conference on Wednesday, 23 February, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. (local time) at the Korea Press Center (124 Sejong-daero, Jung-gu), Seoul. Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists. 

Ojea Quintana will report his findings and recommendations to the Human Rights Council in March 2022, which will be his last report as a mandate holder. He will end his term in August 2022.


Mr. Tomás OJEA QUINTANA (Argentina) was designated as the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK by the UN Human Rights Council in 2016. Mr. Ojea Quintana, a lawyer with more than 20 years of experience in human rights, worked for the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, and represented the Argentinian NGO “Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo” in cases concerning child abduction during the military regime. He also led cases of criminal corporate responsibility. He is a former Head of OHCHR human rights programme in Bolivia, and served as the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar from 2008 to 2014. 

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organisation and serve in their individual capacity. 

UN Human Rights, country page: DPRK 

OHCHR Seoul Office 

For more information and media requests please contact: Ms. Madoka Saji (+82 10 4230 3523) or write to madoka.saji@un.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts: Mr Jeremy Laurence – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / jeremy.laurence@un.org)  

Follow news related to the UN’s independent human rights experts on Twitter @UN_SPExperts.

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