Written by Reuters
01 Nov, 2018 | 3:06 pm
Reuters – Sexual abuse by officials in positions of authority in North Korea appears to be “routine”, a watchdog group reported on Thursday (November 1), as activists complain the isolated country’s rights record is being ignored amid an international push to improve relations.
Investigators with U.S.-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) interviewed more than 60 North Koreans who had left the country. The testimonies of those involved paint a picture of sexual abuse – including rape – that is so widespread that many of the women interviewed did not always understand that coercive sex should not be an almost every day occurrence.
Gathering information in North Korea is notoriously difficult, and HRW acknowledged its survey was too limited to provide a generalised sample. But the testimonies of those involved paint a picture of sexual abuse – including rape – that is so widespread that many of the women interviewed did not always understand that coercive sex should not be an almost every day occurrence, said one investigator who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the work.
A report on sexual violence in North Korea released in March by the Korea Future Initiative also found that “a thinly disguised misogyny pervades all that the government touches, allowing perpetrators to find shelter in its institutions and society’s patriarchal conventions”.
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