- Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Marzuki Darusman (A/HRC/28/71)
- FAO GIEWS Country Brief, 12 Feb 2015
Appeals & Funding
Tracking food security trends in vulnerable countries
The Global Food Security Update provides a quarterly overview of key food security trends in vulnerable countries. Information is provided by WFP VAM field teams and partners.
Conflict in Iraq has disrupted food markets, leading to price hikes in Anbar, Salah Al-Din and Kirkuk. According to the 2014-2015 Strategic Response Plan, around 5.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, and over 2.5 million people are currently displaced.
Snapshot 18-24 March 2015
Syria: The Government carried out over 10,000 airstrikes between October and March, dropping more than 5,300 barrel bombs and killing almost 2,200 civilians. A chlorine attack on 16 March in Idleb killed six people.
Snapshot 11–17 March 2015
Vanuatu: 24 people are confirmed dead so far after Tropical Cyclone Pam hit on 13 March. Shefa, Tafea, Malampa, and Penama are among the worst affected provinces. Access challenges are significant.
Cameroon: The number of people internally displaced in the north has almost doubled since 10 February, to 117,000. This brings the number of displaced in Cameroon to an estimated 412,700, including 66,000 fleeing Boko Haram violence in Nigeria and the rest from the Central African Republic.
16 March 2015
The Human Rights Council this morning held separate interactive dialogues with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and with the Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea.
In the present report, the Special Rapporteur reflects on the latest developments in relation to the situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the past year. While initially the authorities of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea made a number of welcome gestures towards increased cooperation with the United Nation human rights system and bilateral partners, these openings have not been sustained, not borne fruits.
This report provides a UK perspective on the global human rights situation during 2014, and examples of what the government is doing to promote human rights and democratic values overseas. It reviews the situation in specific countries and against the thematic priorities around which our work is organised.
One of the most striking trends of 2014 was the pressure put by governments on civil society organisations in many parts of the world, damaging human rights and the economic interests of those same countries.
Iraq: 26,000 people have fled fighting between Islamic State and Iraqi security forces in Tikrit for Samarra. Food, shelter, health and WASH needs are priorities. More than 100 families have arrived in Al Dour, located between Tikrit and Samarra, and thousands have fled to central and southern governorates.
South Sudan: Heavy fighting between government and opposition was reported in Upper Nile state, and government troops took control of Wadakona town. Many civilians are reported trapped. Peace talks have collapsed.
FAO has further raised its estimate of the 2014 world cereal production and its forecast for global cereal stocks. Early prospects for cereal supplies in 2015/16 are mostly favourable, partly sustained by large stocks accumulated over the previous two seasons.
FAO’s first forecast for global wheat production in 2015 indicates a likely small contraction, mostly reflecting an expected decline in Europe from last year’s record output.
A commentary by Andrei Lankov
Seemingly, in recent days some good economic news began to emerge from North Korea. Last month, the World Food Program published its estimates of North Korea’s 2014 harvest. It seems that the harvest is better than the year before, even though the 2013 harvest was also remarkably good. It is estimated that in 2014 the North Korean farmers harvested some 5.1-5.2 million tons of grain, well above the level of 4.5 million tons which was the norm until recently.
Afghanistan: Heavy snowfall has caused avalanches in northern, central and eastern Afghanistan; 280 people have died. Panshir province is most affected. Communication lines have been disrupted in places, power supplies to Kabul have been cut. Priority needs are for NFIs and emergency shelter; access to isolated areas is difficult.
Michael Kirby, a former Australian judge, chaired the United Nations Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Human Rights in North Korea. The report, which documented widespread abuses in North Korea, was released in February 2014 and approved by the U.N. General Assembly in December. At a conference in Washington marking the first anniversary of the report’s release, RFA Korean’s Sooil Chun interviewed Kirby. Following is an abridged transcript of the interview.
Snapshot 18-24 February 2015
Myanmar: 90,000 people are now reported to have been displaced by continuing violence between government troops and multiple armed groups in Kokang, Shan state. Aid organisations have been subject to attack – seven people were wounded in two separate incidents.
Snapshot 11–17 February 2015
Myanmar: Fighting between the Myanmar army and the MNDAA, an insurgent group in the Kokang area of Shan state, displaced tens of thousands of people. Some fled into central Myanmar, while between 30,000 and 50,000 are thought to have crossed into Nansan, Yunnan province, China.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Production of 2014/15 early season crops is forecast to decrease significantly
Main season paddy production in 2014 was reduced but maize output increased
After three consecutive years of strong growth, aggregate 2014/15 food production expected to remain stagnant
Higher cereal import requirements forecast for 2014/15 marketing year (November/October)
With stagnant harvest in 2014/15 food insecurity is likely to remain high
Birthday Recalls Mass Starvation, Executions, Forced Labor
(Seoul, February 13, 2015) – North Korea’s so-called dear leader, Kim Jong-Il, should be remembered as his country celebrates his birthday on February 16, 2015, for presiding over one of the world’s most brutal and repressive governments, Human Rights Watch said today. During his 17 years of rule, Kim presided over the country’s worst famine and oversaw systematic crimes against humanity against his own people.
NATURAL DISASTERS AND CONFLICTS IN ASIA-PACIFIC
FEWER LIVES LOST
In 2014, Asia and the Pacific experienced 126 natural disasters, which affected a total of 85 million people. Significantly, casualties were a quarter of what they were in 2013, with nearly 4,000 people killed by disasters in the region. Floods and landslides were the primary causes of death according to the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED).
Snapshot 4–10 February 2015
Guinea: An increase in Ebola case numbers has been reported for the second consecutive week. Resistance to the response remains high in Forecariah, worst affected by the outbreak; though ten prefectures have reported at least one incident of resistance. Clashes between armed forces and the community were reported in Matoto, Conakry.
Testimonies Detail Crackdown on Fleeing, Unauthorized Phone Calls
(Seoul, February 10, 2015) – North Korea is expanding efforts to control its borders and reduce information flows in and out of the country by harshly punishing people trying to flee the country, and hitting those aiding them with harsher sentences, Human Rights Watch said today.
The weather has been mostly favorable for North Korea’s winter crops (mainly wheat), which were planted in October 2014 and will be harvested in May/June 2015. The crops benefitted from relatively warm and wet weather in November and went into dormancy on schedule in December. January is usually the coldest and driest month of the year in North Korea, but the weather last month was warmer than normal and there was widespread light to moderate snowfall. The recent snowfall kept soil moisture at near-normal levels and offered the dormant crop some protection against freezing temperatures.
After increasing markedly for three consecutive years, food production remained stagnant in 2014 with the aggregate output put at 5.94 million tonnes (including cereals, soybeans and potatoes in cereal equivalent). This figure comprises the official estimate of the 2014 main harvest and forecast for the 2015 early crops from cooperative farms, as well as FAO projections of production from sloping land and household gardens.