[ Human Trafficking, Country-by-Country ]

NORTH KOREA (Tier 3) Extracted from the U.S. State Dept 2020 TIP Report

The Government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; therefore the DPRK remained on Tier 3. During the reporting period, there was a government policy or pattern of forced labor in mass mobilizations of adults and children, in prison camps as part of an established system of political repression, in labor training centers, and through its imposition of forced labor conditions on DPRK overseas contract workers. It used proceeds from state-sponsored forced labor to fund government functions, as well as other illicit activity. The government did not demonstrate any efforts to address human trafficking.

Prioritized Recommendations

End the use of state-sponsored forced labor, including among North Korean workers abroad and in prison camps used as a source of revenue and tool of political repression. • End the practice of summary executions and other harsh punishments, including forced labor, for victims who are forcibly returned from destination countries. • Eliminate coercion tactics used to monitor and limit the movements and communications of workers overseas. • Cease the garnishing of wages of overseas workers for the purposes of furthering forced labor. • Provide assistance to victims exploited in the DPRK and to North Korean victims returned from abroad. • Criminalize sex trafficking and labor trafficking. • Investigate and prosecute trafficking cases and convict traffickers in accordance with the rule of law. • Increase transparency by allowing international human rights monitors to evaluate living and working conditions of workers, both domestically and abroad.• Forge partnerships with international organizations and NGOs to combat human trafficking. • Allow North Koreans to choose their form of work and leave their employment at will. • Accede to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.