Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women examines the reports of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Report
from UN Human Rights Council
Published on 08 Nov 2017 View Original

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

8 November 2017

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women today considered the combined second to fourth periodic reports of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on its implementation of the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

Introducing the reports, Han Tae Song, Permanent Representative of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said that a number of legislative and administrative measures for the advancement of women in all fields of the State’s activities and social life had been taken, including the adoption of the law on the protection and promotion of the rights of women, the law on the protection of the rights of the child, and the law on labour protection. An orderly work system to protect and promote women’s rights to address the slightest tendency of discriminating against women had been established. Preferential treatment measures taken by the State were thoroughly implemented such as maternity leave, the exemption of women from arduous and harmful work, or the prohibition of women working night shifts and overtime. Efforts to implement the Convention in good faith were now confronted with tremendous challenges in the form of vicious economic sanctions which ran counter to the ideals of humanitarianism and human rights and should be lifted immediately. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea categorically rejected the extremely politicized human rights dialogue based on false testimonies of the so-called defectors, but was willing to engage in dialogue and cooperation for the promotion and protection of genuine human rights, including women’s rights.

In the dialogue that followed, Committee Experts commended the adoption of the 2010 law on the protection and promotion of the rights of women, and asked about the system in place to ensure the upward feedback of the people at the grassroots level on the State’s policies and also about a mechanism to evaluate those policies to ensure that they did not violate human rights in general and women’s rights under the Convention in particular. An issue of great concern was the widespread violence against women, especially reports of torture, sexual abuse and forced abortions that women repatriated from China suffered. Further, there were cases of women being detained in political prison camps because of activities by their spouses or family members, and many detained women did not have access to a lawyer or a judge. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea was a source country for women and girls who were subjected to forced labour, forced marriage and sex trafficking, and many were sold to Chinese men in search of wives, Experts noted and asked when would human trafficking be criminalized and when would repatriated women be provided with remedies and support services rather than with punishment. The delegation was asked about measures to address the widespread hunger and malnutrition and ensure equal access to food for all, measures to increase the political and public participation of women, especially in the Foreign Service and the judiciary, and the situation of vulnerable groups of women, particularly women in detention and women with disabilities.

In concluding remarks, Ri Kyong Hun, Director of the Legislation Department, Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, said that the dialogue was a learning process for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, which would continue to take steps to expedite the implementation of the Convention throughout the country.

Dalia Leinarte, Committee Chairperson, commended the Democratic People's Republic of Korea for its efforts and encouraged it to address various recommendations which the Committee would issue with the purpose of the more comprehensive implementation of the Convention throughout the State party.

The delegation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea included representatives of the Presidium of Supreme People’s Assembly, Central Court, Commission of Education, Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Permanent Mission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to the United Nations Office at Geneva.

The Committee will reconvene in public on Thursday, 9 November, at 10 a.m., to consider the combined initial to third periodic reports of Monaco CEDAW/C/MCO/1-3.

Report

The Committee is considering the combined second to fourth periodic reports of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea CEDAW/C/PRK/2-4.

Presentation of the Report

HAN TAE SONG, Permanent Representative of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said that the consideration of its reports by the Committee today would provide the international community with an understanding of the real situation of women in the country. The Government had taken a number of legislative and administrative measures for the advancement of women in all fields of State activities and social life, such as the adoption of the law on the protection and promotion of the rights of women, the law on the protection of the rights of the child, and the law on labour protection. An orderly work system to protect and promote women’s rights and to address the slightest tendency of discriminating against women had been established. Preferential treatment measures taken by the State were being thoroughly implemented such as maternity leave, the exemption of women from arduous and harmful work, or the prohibition of women working the night shift and overtime.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea was a people-centred socialist State with its guiding principle of the Juche idea which was in essence, the idea of giving first priority to the popular masses. The successes achieved in the field of women’s rights were the result of the correct policy of the Government which had given prominence to women as the subjects of history and true masters of socialist construction. With the promulgation of the Decree on Gender Equality in 1946, women who had been suffering from the centuries-old shackles of feudalism and subjected to the fate of colonial slaves had proudly taken part in the State’s activities and social life with equal freedoms and rights with men for the first time. A Mother’s Day on 16 November had been instituted several years ago, and was being observed meaningfully throughout the country.

The efforts to implement the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in good faith and place the status of women in the highest standing were now being confronted with tremendous challenges. The United States and other hostile forces impeded in every possible way the enjoyment of human rights by the people of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, including though manipulating the so-called sanctions resolutions against the country, which violated its right to existence and the right to development. Vulnerable people such as women and children were the victims of those inhumane sanctions. The vicious economic sanctions ran counter to the ideals of humanitarianism and human rights, could never be justified, and should be lifted immediately, stressed Ambassador Han. During the period under review, there continued to be despicable plots to defame the image of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea by kidnapping its women; an example was the luring and kidnapping of 12 women in April 2016 by South Korean intelligence services.

In closing, Ambassador Han said that a lot remained to be done in an effort to implement the Convention in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, which required quality education and health, favourable working and living conditions for women, and cooperation with international organizations. The Government categorically rejected the extremely politicized human rights dialogue based on false testimonies of the so-called defectors, but was willing to engage in dialogue and cooperation for the protection and promotion of genuine human rights, including women’s rights.

Questions from the Experts

Opening the interactive dialogue with the delegation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, an Expert referred to the 2010 law on the protection and promotion of the rights of women, and asked how it incorporated the definition of discrimination as provided in article 1 of the Convention and the concept of gender equality as described in article 2. What was the role and the contribution of women in the country to this law?

How did the Democratic People's Republic of Korea ensure the upward feedback and the input of the people at the grassroots level into policies?

What mechanism was in place to evaluate the State’s policies to ensure that they did not violate the human rights situation of the population and particularly women’s rights under the Convention?

Could the delegation explain which women’s organizations were receiving the State’s support, and whether they were civil society organizations or other kinds of institutions?

Responses by the Delegation

The delegation said that the 2010 law on the protection and promotion of the rights of women provided in article 2 the commitment of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to gender equality and the obligation of the State to prevent and not tolerate any form of discrimination against women. All forms of discrimination were contained in article 2 of the law; although the law did not specifically define discrimination against women, in its article 2 it contained all the elements of the definition of discrimination against women as prescribed by the Convention.

During the preparation of the law, there was an intense debate in the country on how to define discrimination against women, which had not been done as yet. However, during the preparation of the report to the Committee, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea had committed to adopting such a definition in the future.

The law comprehensively provided for the rights of women, and in its article 3 defined an obligation of institutions and organizations to provide human rights in their respective units. All women had equal economic, social and cultural rights throughout the country, which could not be violated by anyone. Women had equal rights as men to vote and stand for elections. Thus, the law contained articles and provisions providing for the equal rights of women in all fields – culture, education, health care, and others.

In terms of the contribution of women to the 2010 law, a delegate said that the drafters of the law consulted with the institutions and organizations where women were dominant and with the people’s committees, thus ensuring that the law had incorporated the views of women from all walks of life in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

As for the contribution and input from women at the grassroots level, the delegation explained that there was an effective mechanism in place for the implementation and monitoring of the law, including in institutions which had in-house monitoring units which conducted regular surveys into the implementation of the law. Particular attention was being given to monitoring and feedback on working conditions. Any violations of women’s rights were referred to the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly.

There were a number of civil society organizations in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The Korean Federation for the Protection and Promotion of Persons with Disabilities carried out the State’s policy for the protection of persons with disabilities; it provided them with favourable working and living conditions, and conducted awareness raising activities on the rights of persons with disabilities. The Korean Federation for Elderly Persons implemented the State’s policies and the law on elderly persons. The Government was actively supporting the activities of civil society organizations in place which worked with persons with disabilities, the elderly and women.

An effective legal dissemination system was in place, from the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly to the grassroots level, through which laws and amendments to laws were disseminated, implemented and monitored. This was also the way in which the 2010 law on the protection and promotion of the rights of women was being disseminated, and through which the awareness of women about this law was being raised. The Presidium formulated a yearly action plan for the dissemination of laws, which was then forwarded to the legal committee; the Presidium also collected data on the implementation of the law, to enable monitoring.

Questions from the Experts

In the next round of questions, an Expert commended the efforts to strengthen the mechanism to advance equality between women and men and non-discrimination on the basis of sex, including the adoption of the 2010 law on the protection and promotion of the rights of women; the amendment to the law on socialist labour which had extended the duration of maternity leave in 2015; and the establishment of the National Committee in 2015 which was entrusted with the implementation of international human rights treaties such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the 2010 law.

Who were the members of the National Committee, what was the percentage of female members, and did women hold decision-making positions? How did it ensure that the Convention was integrated in the State’s policy?

What was the mandate of the Korean Democratic Women’s Union and how did it interface with the National Committee?

What was the status of the 10-year-old national action plan on women, which included gender equality?

Turning to access to justice, the Expert took positive note that the Convention had the same status as national legislation and asked about the cases in which women had used the Convention to claim their rights. What complaint mechanism was in place for women whose rights had been violated under the 2010 law, what were the outcomes of those complaints, and had there been any prosecutions?

Another Expert congratulated the Democratic People's Republic of Korea for the progress made in the participation of women in many areas, and asked about temporary special measures taken, or planned, to ensure the equal participation of women in high-level positions, particularly in the public sector where they represented only 14 per cent of directorship. Women made up about 20 per cent of representative bodies at various levels, which was rather low – what was being done to redress this?

Responses by the Delegation

Responding to the questions raised about the National Committee, the delegation said that it was composed of representatives of a number of ministries, including on foreign affairs, public health, education, and labour, as well as of representatives of law enforcement agencies, including the Ministry of People’s Security, the Central Court and the Central Prosecutor Offices. The National Committee also included representatives of social organizations such as the Korean Federation for the Protection of Persons with Disabilities and the Korean Women’s Union. It had 108 members of which 27 per cent were women. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea was aware that the participation of women in this Committee was insufficient and was committed to increasing it.

Another delegate explained that the Korean Democratic Women’s Union was a social and mass organization which worked on promoting and advancing the rights of women. Its Central Committee consisted of full-time workers, as well as representatives of a number of ministries, mass media and the institutions and enterprises in which women were a majority. Its aim was to disseminate the State’s laws and policies among women, organize cultural and sports activities, and enhance the role of women in social activities and in the upbringing and development of children. It made recommendations to the legislative and other organizations to improve women’s status in the country.

Questions from the Experts

A Committee Expert welcomed the measures taken by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to eradicate gender stereotypes and negative traditional views of the role and abilities of women in many areas of life, but it was a matter of concern that the adage “men are the sky and women are the ground” still continued to dominate in the society. Women were banned from some professions, and the society continued to promote their primary role in the home and family life.

Other Experts noted that, according to several sources, violence against women in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was widespread, particularly domestic violence and sexual violence.

According to the 2014 report of the Commission of Inquiry, rape, forced abortion and other sexual violence and abuses were widespread, while there were cases of women being detained in political prison camps because of activities by their spouses or family members. Of particular concern was the torture and abuse in detention of women and their children forcibly deported from China to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

What other concrete measures, if any, were being undertaken by the authorities to address systemic discrimination, exploitation and abuses of women and young girls in the country?

The crime of human smuggling as set out in the legislation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea did not include trafficking, and did not meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking in persons as set out in the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons. Although the country had ratified the United Nations Convention against Transnational Crime in 2016, there were no significant efforts to address human trafficking through the enactment of legislation, prosecution, protection, or prevention measures.

When would the Democratic People's Republic of Korea accede to the 2000 United Nations Trafficking in Persons Protocol and establish a national policy on human trafficking?

Alternative sources indicated that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was a source country for women and girls who were subjected to forced labour, forced marriage and sex trafficking. Women from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea frequently fell victim to human traffickers who sold them to Chinese men in search of wives – it was estimated that 10,000 women and girls had migrated to China. Such women who fell pregnant gave birth to children who were neither Chinese nor North Korean citizens, while those pregnant women caught by the Chinese police were repatriated to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and forced to abort their children by the North Korean officials. Chinese authorities regarded the women as economic migrants rather than political asylum-seekers, and they often sent them back to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea where they could face punishment as political traitors, including forced labour in labour camps, harsh punishment or death.

When would the State party criminalize human trafficking and recognize it as a distinct crime from human smuggling? Was the Democratic People's Republic of Korea ready to provide remedies and support services to repatriated women rather than punitive measures? How many women were repatriated from China to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea every year, what sentences were being imposed on those women, and how many women were subjected to forced abortions?

Responses by the Delegation

In his general statement on the questions raised by the Committee Experts, HAN TAE SONG, Permanent Representative of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to the United Nations Office at Geneva, regretted the unsubstituted allegations against the country as stated in the so-called anti-Democratic People's Republic of Korea human rights resolutions. The delegation categorically rejected the Experts’ allegations of torture, rape, abuse and forced abortion, which were unfounded and politically motivated, and which were part of resolutions adopted every year against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea by the Human Rights Council and the United Nations General Assembly. Torture, rape, abuse and forced abortion did not exist in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea where they were prohibited by law and thus were not practiced. The figure of 10,000 persons from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea being in China was totally groundless.

Another delegate reiterated that for years, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea had been rejecting the groundless accusations and politicized resolutions by the international community. Sanctions and economic containment by the United States since the 1990s, combined with natural disasters such as drought, had caused economic hardships in the country, particularly in the north, where many people had relatives in China. Those people had gone to China to seek help from their relatives, but later returned.

Human trafficking and smuggling was a very sensitive issue, particularly in the current tense context in the Korean Peninsula. Everything was politicized now, even humanitarian issues. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea continued to regard the latest United Nations Security Council sanctions and the United States’ sanctions as inhumane and politicized.

There was no domestic violence in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

A Committee Expert stressed that the Committee did not invent the allegations of torture, rape and forced abortion; those were not a creation of the imagination of the Committee Experts but were based on the 2014 report of the International Commission of Inquiry. Those questions were being raised because the Committee was there to assist the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in its efforts to implementation the Convention, it was not there to play games.

Questions from the Experts

The delegation was asked about measures taken to increase the participation of women in political and public life, and particularly in the foreign service where women represented only 4.9 per cent, and in the judiciary.

There was no genuine civil society forum for the definition of human rights which was an important element in the protection and promotion of women’s rights – what was being done to promote and support the civil society element in the quest for the promotion of women’s rights?

On matters of citizenship and nationality, an Expert asked about measures being taken to assist children of citizens from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea who did not have the citizenship. Was gender-disaggregated data on stateless persons available?

Responses by the Delegation

As for women in the foreign service of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, increasing numbers were joining and many were going abroad to learn languages of a number of countries. Women worked as staff in a number of United Nations agencies, and this was an area where gender equality was achieved.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea was aware of the need to have more women and was hoping that additional numbers of women would join the Foreign Ministry, although the severing of diplomatic ties by a number of countries under pressure from the United States represented a challenge in this regard.

At the signing of the Convention in 2011, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea had entered a reservation on article 9(b) concerning nationality of children born to Korean mothers and foreign fathers, but this reservation had been withdrawn as it was discriminatory to women.

As for children born to Korean women and Chinese men in China, according to the law they had the right to a Chinese nationality. Should this fail, such persons could apply for citizenship of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

At present, there were five or six stateless persons in the country, and those were born to a foreigner and a Korean woman. They had already submitted application for citizenship, in the country or elsewhere, and while waiting for the nationality, they were given a certificate of statelessness by the Ministry for People’s Security.

Questions from the Experts

In the next round of questions, Committee Experts stressed that taking care of children was also the responsibility of men and asked whether there was a possibility of paid or unpaid paternity leave. What measures were in place to enable men to take part in the raising and upbringing of their children?

The principle of equal pay for work of equal value was enshrined in the 2010 law on the protection and promotion of women’s rights – did this mean that it provided better protection to women in terms of equal pay than the labour law?

Women’s retirement age was 55 and it was 60 for men, which had a negative impact on their income and in their career development to enable them to reach senior positions. Could women continue to work after the age of 55 and would the age of retirement be equalized for women and men?

Women accounted for 16 per cent of managers, 11 per cent of judges and 16 per cent of officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; at the same time, they represented 99 per cent of employees in kindergartens and over 80 per cent of primary school teachers. What was being done, including by adopting temporary special measures, to promote the participation of women in managerial and leadership positions?

Were statistics about sexual harassment in the workplace available? Was it prohibited by law and was there a complaint mechanism in place?

In its resolution from March 2017, the Human Rights Council had recognized the “widespread hunger and malnutrition in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea” and urged it to promote equal access to food. Were there statistics available on those issues and what was being done to urge equal access for all?

What were the intentions concerning the expansion of women and maternal health services from Pyongyang to other areas of the country, particularly rural and remote regions?

Abortion was legal, and over 70 per cent of women used contraceptives. Were there any educational programmes targeting men to raise awareness that they were also responsible for contraception?

Replies by the Delegation

Responding to the questions and comments made by the Committee Experts, the delegation said that women were being encouraged to explore the possibility of studying in science and technology, and special measures were in place to promote their entry in those fields of studies. Three years ago, an additional year had been added to college and its curriculum and teaching plan had been revised, which increased the chance for women to receive higher education. In 2009, open and distance learning and education systems had been introduced, and many women were making use of them.

In terms of sexual education, students in secondary schools were taught about their bodies, and parents were also good teachers of children, particularly on development and sexual issues. Household teachers visited houses and informed and counselled children on matters related to sexual education.

Previously, maternity leave had been two months before and three months after the birth. In 2015, maternity leave had been extended to 240 days. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea had not yet introduced paternity leave.

Retirement age was 55 for women and 60 for men; this was one of the temporary special measures to introduce gender equality in the country, and had been taken in consideration of physiological conditions and customary practices. The retirement age was a minimum age and a woman wishing to work beyond that age was allowed to do so.

In terms of temporary special measures to promote the participation of women in high-ranking positions, the delegation said that all women could accede to those positions after passing the exams, and a series of measures were available to support women in this endeavour, for example through in-service training, and media attention given to highly successful women who were awarded with labour hero medals and awards.

The Criminal Law provided criminal sanctions for a person raping another through the use of violence and threats, and also sanctions for forcing a subordinate woman to have sexual intercourse with her supervisor. No incidents of sexual harassment had been reported.

As for the widespread hunger and malnutrition, a delegate noted a marked improvement in this area and said that a nutritional survey was being planned for next year which would provide adequate statistics. A 2015 nutritional survey had shown that 20 to 32 per cent of women had been malnourished, while a multiple indicators survey of 2009 had shown 32 per cent malnutrition and 5.2 per cent acute malnutrition rate among women of reproductive age.

The implementation of a reproductive health strategy had started in 2006, which paid special attention to preventing illegal abortion and abortion complications. The household doctor system of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, highly commended by the World Health Organization, provided special care in respect of reproductive and sexual health, education and information.

The delegation reassured the Committee that the principle of equal pay for work of equal value applied, for example, in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a director of the Asian department and a director of the European department were paid the same, regardless of the gender of the post holder.

Further on sexual harassment in the workplace, the delegation said that regardless of the age of the superior, whenever he forced a woman he supervised to have sexual intercourse under threat of losing a job, or a promise of a better job, the woman had a choice not to comply with the request. If the supervisor continued to use power and sexual intercourse took place, such an act would be sanctioned as a rape.

Such cases could not be settled by a complaint. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea had a very well developed public reporting system and a woman suffering harassment at work could file a complaint to the Ministry of People’s Security. Every home, office and public place contained a list of telephone numbers for emergency, accident and assistance, which could be used by all and any victims of sexual violence.

In the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, sexual violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence or marital rape were very strange words, people were struggling to understand what they meant simply because those phenomena did not happen frequently and were not issues of social importance.

Questions from the Experts

A Committee Expert inquired about the extent to which gender was mainstreamed in the country’s poverty reduction and development policies. Were there any instances of discrimination against women in accessing social benefits and pensions?

As for rural women, the delegation was asked whether they had equal opportunities as women from urban areas, and the proportion of women born and raised in rural areas and on farms that went on to university.

Which women’s groups and associations freely advocated for women’s rights and how were independent women’s groups consulted in the elaboration of policies? How many women and girls had disabilities, what was their access to education and health services, and what employment opportunities did they have?

The delegation was also asked about the situation of women in detention, and about repatriated women, including from China. It had been reported that repatriated women were often subjected to detention, harsh treatment and even forced abortion, while those sentenced to labour often were denied access to a lawyer or a judge. How many women had died in detention, what were the causes of death, and how many women in detention underwent abortion every year?

Responses by the Delegation

The delegation said that regulations on social insurance and social security were in place and they guaranteed women equal rights as men. In addition, a variety of family benefits were provided without any discrimination, such as maternity leave benefits, disability benefits, benefits for families of soldiers, and benefits for child-headed households, for elderly households, and others.

As for the situation of women from rural and farming communities, in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, everyone benefitted from compulsory and free education up to the secondary level, and everyone was free to go to a tertiary institution of their choice. The proportion of women in urban areas receiving tertiary education was higher than in farming communities.

The delegation said that following the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea had adopted a law on the protection of persons with disabilities, which focused on maintaining the dignity of persons with disabilities and preventing their marginalization. It was also important to detect and prevent factors that might give rise to disability. According to the 2014 sample survey, six per cent of the population over the age of 60 had a disability.

Questions from the Experts

A Committee Expert noted that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea had recognized in its replies to the list of issues to the Committee that domestic violence existed, that there were educational materials available to prevent the phenomenon, and that domestic violence was a crime and thus not a family matter.

The delegation was asked to provide further information about those educational materials and speak of their dissemination and target groups. What were the statistics on domestic violence and complaints? What protection mechanisms for victims were in place, including shelters?

What was the definition of rape and was marital rape recognized in the legislation? If a woman who suffered marital rape wanted a divorce, how did she proceed?

What were the grounds for divorce? Could the delegation explain the legal provision under which those responsible for the destruction of family life could be sent to a labour camp?

Responses by the Delegation

In response to the issues raised by the Experts, the delegation said that there were many kinds of television serials and feature films which addressed the subject of domestic violence and that in educating people, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea resorted to influence through good examples and good practices.

The family was the basic unit of society and a harmonious society without a harmonious family was unthinkable. Workshops and training sessions were regularly conducted for law enforcement officers.

A delegate invited Committee Experts to explain what marital rape was and provide a definition. The procedure on divorce following a rape was not clear. One of the grounds for divorce was if a couple was childless and one of the partners refused to adopt. Adultery was not subject to criminal sanctions; it was sanctioned if it took place for the purpose of breaking up a family.

A complaint of marital rape could be filed by the woman to the Family Court. About 2,000 cases for divorce had been brought in 2016, and 1,700 up to October 2017; less woman filed for divorce than men.

In adoption, the consent of a child over six years of age was needed.

Concluding Remarks

RI KYONG HUN, Director of the Legislation Department, Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, thanked the Committee Experts and said that the dialogue was a learning process for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, which would continue to take steps to expedite the implementation of the Convention throughout the country.

DALIA LEINARTE, Committee Chairperson, commended the Democratic People's Republic of Korea for its efforts and encouraged it to address various recommendations which the Committee would issue with the purpose of the more comprehensive implementation of the Convention throughout the State party.

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