with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure
on the situation of North Korean refugees (2012/2655(RSP))
on behalf of the ECR Group
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.
European Parliament resolution on the situation of North Korean refugees(2012/2655(RSP))
The European Parliament,
- Having regard to its previous resolutions on the People’s Republic of China
- Having regard to the EU-China human rights dialogues
- Having regard to the EU-China summit of 14 February 2012
- Having regard to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, and the status of the principle of non-refoulement as a rule of customary international law
- Having regard to the 1984 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment which requires countries to refrain from repatriating people to countries where they face a substantial risk of being tortured
- Having regard to the statement by the authorities of the DPRK, in December 2011, of its intention to “annihilate” up to three generations of a family if a family member fled the country during the 100-day period of mourning for the death of Kim Jong Il
- Having regard to the fact that in 2010 the DPRK Ministry of Public Security issued a decree making defection a crime of “treachery against the nation”
A.whereas in March 2012 the Chinese government forcibly repatriated at least 41 North Korean refugees to the DPRK
B.whereas China’s 1986 repatriation agreement with North Korea stands in direct contravention of their obligations under international law
C.whereas there is a large body of evidence to suggest that those who are repatriated to the DPRK face imprisonment in the North Korean prison camps or execution
D.whereas the principle of “guilt by association” means that the families of those who are repatriated may also be punished
E.whereas those fleeing the DPRK as “economic migrants” are doing so as a direct result of the policies of the North Korean government which discriminate against ordinary people and benefit the elite who are loyal to the regime
F.whereas most refugees from DPRK have no intention of staying in China but must pass through the country in order to make their way to South Korea, Europe or other continents.
G.whereas the North Korean refugees would be classified as refugees sur place(1) as defined by UN High Commissioner for Refugees, on account of the persecution and punishment they are likely to face on their return to the DPRK
H.whereas the EU is China’s biggest trading partner and investor, while China is the EU’s second biggest trading partner and whereas trade and economic relations have overshadowed the questions of China’s respect for national and international human rights standards
I.whereas the EU-China human rights dialogue established in 1995 has achieved few results so far and whereas human rights considerations have played no more than a background role in the EU-China summits
1. calls on China to ratify its obligations under international law, in particular the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1984 Convention against Torture
2. calls on China to end their 1986 agreement with North Korea on the repatriation of refugees
3. calls on China to release North Korean refugees currently in detention
4. urges China to allow safe passage for North Korean refugees to the Republic of Korea (South Korea) or other third countries
5. calls on China to allow the UN High Commissioner for Refugees access to all North Korean refugees in China
6. calls on China to recognise that “economic migrants” from North Korea are fleeing as a direct result of the North Korean government’s discriminatory policies against ordinary citizens
7. calls on China to recognise all North Korean people escaping from DPRK as refugees sur place
8. calls on the DPRK to desist from arresting, imprisoning, torturing, executing or inflicting any punishment or persecution on those of its citizens who have been forcibly repatriated by China
9. urges the EU to raise this issue as a matter of urgency with the Government of the People’s Republic of China, the DPRK and within the United Nations.
A person who was not a refugee when he left his country, but who becomes a refugee at a later date, is called a refugee "sur place". A person becomes a refugee "sur place" due to circumstances arising in his country of origin during his absence.