Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
List of issues in relation to the initial report of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea *
A.Purpose and general obligations (arts. 1–4)
1.Please inform the Committee about:
(a)The measures taken to abolish the use of terms in legislation that devalue persons with disabilities, such as “dumb”, “incapable and cripples”, “invalid”, “partially or totally incompetent” and “insane” to refer to persons with disabilities;
(b)Progress in harmonizing legislation with the provisions of the Convention;
(c)The current policies and national strategies, including time frames, goals and the human, technical and financial resources allocated for the realization of the rights of persons with disabilities, in particular women and children with disabilities living in rural and remote areas;
(d)The mechanisms to ensure the full and effective participation of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations in the implementation of the Convention;
(e)Plans for ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention;
(f)The steps that have been taken to improve the situation of persons with disabilities since the 2017 visit of and subsequent recommendations by the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities;
(g)The strategic national action plan for the protection of persons with disabilities, including time-bound benchmarks for implementation at the provincial, district and county levels, and the allocated budget to ensure that all persons with disabilities across the country benefit equally from its implementation.
B.Specific rights (arts. 5–30)
Equality and non-discrimination (art. 5)
2.Please inform the Committee about measures taken:
(a)To ensure that legislation, including the Criminal Procedure Law, the Civil Procedure Law, the Law on the Protection of the Rights of the Child, the Amended Socialist Labour Law, the Public Health Law and the Socialist Constitution, explicitly prohibit all forms of discrimination on the basis of disability, including multiple and intersectional discrimination;
(b)To recognize the denial of reasonable accommodation as a form of discrimination on the grounds of disability in the public and private sectors.
Women with disabilities (art. 6)
3.Please provide information on:
(a)Steps taken to ensure that women and girls with disabilities and their representative organizations participate in the development and implementation of programmes relating to gender equality, women’s empowerment and other issues affecting all women and girls, including in rural and remote areas;
(b)Steps taken to ensure that policies, programmes, strategies and budgets are inclusive of women and girls with disabilities;
(c)The existing practice of pressuring young women with disabilities to “sacrifice themselves” and volunteer to marry veterans with disabilities as part of their contribution to the country because of their impairment;
(d)The participation and involvement of women and girls with disabilities and their representative organizations in the Central Committee for the Protection of Persons with Disabilities.
Children with disabilities (art. 7)
4.Please provide information on:
(a)Steps taken to ensure the protection of children with disabilities from seclusion at home and in alternative care and to provide services and support to children with disabilities, their families and caregivers;
(b)The system in place to enable children with disabilities, including children with psychosocial disabilities and/or intellectual disabilities, to effectively participate in and voice their opinion on matters that affect them.
Awareness-raising (art. 8)
5.Please inform the Committee about measures taken:
(a)To raise awareness among persons with disabilities, their parents and families, relevant professional groups and government officials at all levels about the rights and dignity of all persons with disabilities;
(b)To engage the media in projecting a positive image of persons with disabilities, recognizing their skills, merits, abilities and contributions to society;
(c)To raise awareness of psychosocial disabilities and/or intellectual disabilities and other disabilities such as cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome, spina bifida and small persons, specifically in rural and remote areas.
Accessibility (art. 9)
6.Please update the Committee about measures:
(a)To improve accessibility, particularly in rural and remote areas, and to implement interministerial programmes to ensure accessibility compliance for the physical environment, transportation, information and communications technology, facilities and services;
(b)To ensure accessibility and universal design requirements in public procurement legislation and policies for goods and services;
(c)To implement a long-term road map to accomplish statutory commitments regarding accessibility.
Right to life (art. 10)
7.Please provide information about measures taken in an effort to eliminate the practice of infanticide of children born with disabilities and to provide safe, accessible care and legal protection for their development.
Situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies (art. 11)
8.Please provide information about measures taken, including with the involvement of persons with disabilities through their representative organizations:
(a)To establish a targeted, sustainable humanitarian emergency framework in the context of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and any future health emergency and climate change, including measures taken to ensure that assistance is provided to meet the immediate and long-term needs of persons with disabilities;
(b)To provide accessible information on the scope of programmes to prevent COVID-19 and on access to vaccines;
(c)To implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030 and the Paris Agreement.
Equal recognition before the law (art. 12)
9.Please provide information on measures taken:
(a)To ensure that all persons with disabilities, in particular persons with psychosocial disabilities and/or intellectual disabilities, enjoy legal capacity in all areas of life;
(b)To replace guardianship and other systems of substituted decision-making with supported decision-making regimes, taking into consideration the Committee’s general comment No. 1 (2014);
(c)To ensure the equal right of persons with disabilities, including women with disabilities, to own and inherit property, control their financial affairs and have equal access to bank loans, mortgages and other forms of financial credit and banking procedures, in both the public and the private sectors.
Access to justice (art. 13)
10.Please provide information on measures taken to:
(a)Ensure that laws and practices provide full and effective access to justice for all persons with disabilities, including women with disabilities, on an equal basis with others at all stages of legal proceedings, including by providing procedural and age-appropriate accommodation and accessible information;
(b)Promote the recruitment of persons with disabilities in the justice sector;
(c)Review the training curriculum for judges, legal professionals, court officers and law enforcement officials, including police and prison officers, include the provisions and standards of the Convention therein and involve persons with disabilities and their representative organizations in that process;
(d)Provide multiple accessible, gender-sensitive and age-appropriate mechanisms for submitting complaints of discrimination, abuse or violations of rights and eliminate barriers to justice-seeking.
Liberty and security of person (art. 14)
(a)Information on steps taken to review and repeal any laws that allow for the deprivation of liberty on the basis of actual or perceived impairment, in particular with regard to persons with psychosocial disabilities and/or intellectual disabilities;
(b)Data on persons with disabilities in hospitals, institutions, mental health facilities, residential schools, prisons and detention centres and other premises in which persons are deprived of their liberty, disaggregated according to sex, age and type of impairment, and information on instances where the allegation of unlawful detention has been challenged;
(c)Information on training programmes for health professionals, prison officials and other staff on the rights of persons with disabilities and respect for their dignity, liberty and security in all places of deprivation of liberty, including mental health facilities, prisons and detention centres;
(d)Information on persons with disabilities being denied permission to attend public gatherings and interact with friends, in particular in relation to women and girls with disabilities and persons with psychosocial disabilities and/or intellectual disabilities living in institutions or in rural and remote areas.
Freedom from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (art. 15)
12.Please inform the Committee about:
(a)The steps taken to prevent violence against and torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of persons with disabilities while in detention;
(b)The treatment of persons with disabilities detained in kwanliso political prison camps, including disaggregated data on and records of detainees, crimes attributed, sentences imposed, the labour regime, the feeding regime, access to water and sanitation, access to medical services and the treatment of detainees, in particular women and children with disabilities and older persons with disabilities;
(c)Releasing persons with disabilities detained in kwanliso, in particular women and children with disabilities.
Freedom from exploitation, violence and abuse (art. 16)
13.Please provide information on measures taken:
(a)To prevent and combat all forms of exploitation, violence and abuse, including the use of physical and chemical restraints, as well as psychological violence, humiliation and curtailing of physical movements;
(b)To enforce sanctions against perpetrators and to provide remedies for victims that include their comprehensive rehabilitation;
(c)To ensure the protection of women and girls with disabilities from gender-based violence.
Protecting the integrity of the person (art. 17)
14.Please provide information on:
(a)Measures taken to protect persons with disabilities, in particular women and girls with disabilities and persons with psychosocial disabilities and/or intellectual disabilities, from being subjected to all forms of forced or coerced medical treatment, including forced sterilization, contraception and abortion, without their free and informed consent;
(b)Legal measures taken to prohibit the use of immobilizing equipment and physical or chemical restraints and forced treatment in psychiatric care units, prisons and detention centres, residential schools and all other institutional facilities and in homes.
Liberty of movement and nationality (art. 18)
15.Please inform the committee about measures taken to:
(a)Ensure that all children with disabilities are registered at birth, in accordance with the Convention, and provide disaggregated data on birth registration by disability, gender and geographical location in urban and rural areas;
(b)End all restrictions on the movement of persons with disabilities in the State party, including the requirement for advance travel clearance and checkpoints on the main roads;
(c)Prevent the deportation or removal of persons with disabilities from population and care centres in detriment to their personal safety and well-being and eliminate the special conditions for persons with disabilities to reside in the capital city of Pyongyang.
Living independently and being included in the community (art. 19)
16.Taking into consideration the Committee’s general comment No. 5 (2017) and its guidelines on deinstitutionalization, including in emergencies, please provide:
(a)Information on the implementation of regulations to promote the right of persons with disabilities, including women and girls with disabilities, to live independently and be included in the community and on efforts to repeal any regulations that prevent persons with disabilities from choosing their place of residence and where and with whom they live on an equal basis with others;
(b)Data on the number of persons living in institutions, disaggregated by type of impairment, sex and age;
(c)Information on the deinstitutionalization programme and strategies, including time frames and the specific resources allocated, and on the amendment of any laws promoting the establishment of orphanages, group homes and any other institutions;
(d)Information on the outcomes of the implementation of National Strategic Plan for the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of the Persons with Disabilities in terms of ensuring that community services and facilities for the general population are available on an equal basis to persons with disabilities, including those in rural and remote areas, and are responsive to their needs;
(e)Information on measures taken to end institutionalization, in particular with respect to orphans with disabilities and displaced children with disabilities;
(f)Information on the availability of community-based support services for people with psychosocial disabilities.
Personal mobility (art. 20)
17.Please inform the Committee about:
(a)Measures to support persons with disabilities in enhancing their personal mobility, including through the provision of mobility aids, assistive devices and other assistive technologies and forms of live assistance, intermediaries and information and communications technology, in rural and remote areas;
(b)Technical training on the production of assistive devices that includes persons with disabilities to ensure the provision of assistive devices with better quality of services and ergonomics;
(c)Measures taken to prepare and train specialists who can provide training in mobility skills to persons with disabilities.
Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information (art. 21)
18.Please inform the Committee about:
(a)Laws and policies to promote and protect the freedom of expression of persons with disabilities, including persons with psychosocial disabilities and/or intellectual disabilities, and disability rights activists;
(b)Steps taken to improve the accessibility of information and communications technology and other services available or provided to the public in all settings, through appropriate modes, means and formats of communication such as sign language, Braille, audio or tactile information, alternative and augmentative communication, Easy Read and pictograms;
(c)Progress on making the Korean Letter Recognition and Converting Programme accessible for blind persons and on implementing the Programme for Converting Korean Written Language into Korean Braille Letters, which were being developed by the State party at the time of the submission of its report;
(d)Measures taken to ensure adaptive procurement and investment in assistive technologies;
(e)Measures to promote the use of sign language in all areas of life in the light of the State party’s recognition of Korean Sign Language as an official language.
Respect for privacy (art. 22)
19.Please indicate measures taken to ensure respect for privacy of persons with disabilities, in particular women and girls with disabilities, and to implement sanctions and remedies for failing to respect this right to privacy in all areas of life.
Respect for home and the family (art. 23)
20.Please provide information on steps taken:
(a)To repeal all discriminatory laws that deny persons with disabilities their rights with regard to home, marriage, family, parenthood (including adoption of children and the right to be foster parents) and relationships on an equal basis with others, without discrimination and on the basis of their free consent;
(b)To strengthen the services available to parents and families with children with disabilities, including early intervention and support services, resources and training to prevent family separation and discourage the institutionalization of family members with disabilities;
(c)To provide support to parents with disabilities in their parenting roles and to stop the forced removal of their children and their placement in institutions.
Education (art. 24)
(a)Information on the adoption of regulations, policies and programmes to promote inclusive education for all persons with disabilities without discrimination, including the denial of reasonable accommodation;
(b)Information on the allocation of adequate resources to establish inclusive and accessible schools, train teachers and personnel working in educational institutions on inclusive methodologies and provide accessible teaching materials and means and modes of communication;
(c)Information on steps taken to identify and register students with disabilities for compulsory secondary education, as required for children aged 9–16;
(d)Statistical data on the completion of all levels of schooling for school-age children with disabilities and the percentage of children with disabilities who are deprived of education, disaggregated by age, sex, school level and type of impairment, in both urban and rural areas;
(e)Information on measures taken with regard to the transition from segregated special education to inclusive education and to the extension of the 9-year curriculum for children with disabilities to match the standard 12-year curriculum of the mandatory education provided by the State;
(f)Data on the number of persons with disabilities who have enrolled in universities, disaggregated by age, sex, type of impairment and field of study;
(g)Information on measures taken to encourage persons with disabilities, in particular women with disabilities and persons with psychosocial disabilities and/or intellectual disabilities, to access higher education and to improve the accessibility of universities and colleges to ensure that students with disabilities can access quality higher education.
Health (art. 25)
22.Please inform the Committee about steps taken to ensure:
(a)Physical and digital accessibility and availability of quality health-care facilities and equipment, reasonable accommodation provided therefor and service provision for all persons with disabilities, in particular in rural areas;
(b)Access to sexual and reproductive health care, including maternal health care, family planning and contraception, for all persons with disabilities, including women and girls with disabilities and persons with psychosocial disabilities and/or intellectual disabilities;
(c)The prioritization of persons with disabilities in the provision of COVID-19 services, including access to tests, vaccines and information;
(d)A sufficient allocation of resources for inclusive health-care services, reasonable accommodation and the review and modification of health-care facilities to ensure accessibility;
(e)Measures taken to ensure that all persons with disabilities have access to free medical services, including medications, regardless of providers.
Habilitation and rehabilitation (art. 26)
23.Please inform the Committee about:
(a)The availability of accessible habilitation, rehabilitation and reintegration services, including assistive devices for persons with disabilities and adequate support for persons with psychosocial disabilities;
(b)Measures taken to ensure that community-based rehabilitation services cover all parts of the country.
Work and employment (art. 27)
(a)Data collected on the employment of persons with disabilities engaged in both the public and the private sectors, disaggregated by sex, age, type of impairment and duration of employment, and measures to increase employment opportunities, in particular for women with disabilities, including through the development of strategies to increase the numbers of persons with disabilities in the formal employment sector;
(b)Information on measures taken to ensure the provision of reasonable accommodation to employees with disabilities in the workplace and to ensure penalties and remedies for the denial of reasonable accommodation;
(c)Information on the progress in and impact on the inclusion of persons with disabilities of the implementation of the National Strategy for Economic Development 2016–2020, including specific targets and their outcomes;
(d)Information on plans to reinstitute the right of all persons with disabilities, in particular women with disabilities, to engage in all professions and to ensure a safe working environment by combating workplace harassment, including through safeguard policies;
(e)Information on measures taken by the State party to provide subsidies to workers with disabilities, as described in the Socialist Labour Law.
Adequate standard of living and social protection (art. 28)
25.Please provide information on:
(a)Budgetary and other measures taken to improve the standard of living and expand social protection programmes to benefit all persons with disabilities, with particular attention to women and children with disabilities, in both rural and urban areas;
(b)Access to financial assistance to alleviate disability-related expenses, such as the provision of assistive devices and personal assistants, as well as entitlement to poverty-reduction schemes;
(c)The procedure to facilitate the acquisition of a disability certificate required to qualify for government assistance;
(d)The different benefits for social protection of people with disabilities who performed military services for socialist construction and all persons with disabilities including living in rural and urban areas.
Participation in political and public life (art. 29)
(a)Information on measures to ensure the full accessibility of polling stations and voting materials for persons with disabilities;
(b)Data on the proportion of persons with disabilities, including women with disabilities, who hold decision-making positions in public offices, including in the Supreme People’s Assembly.
Participation in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport (art. 30)
27.Please provide information on measures taken to provide opportunities for persons with disabilities to participate in international disability sporting events and on measures taken to develop a credible, cultural and recreational sports programme.
C.Specific obligations (arts. 31–33)
Statistics and data collection (art. 31)
28.Please inform the Committee about measures taken to collect disaggregated data on persons with disabilities and the use of the Washington Group short sets of questions, including with regard to persons living in rural and remote and urban areas, and how persons with disabilities and their representative organizations are closely consulted and meaningfully involved in this process.
International cooperation (art. 32)
29.Please describe programmes and strategies, including budget allocations, to involve persons with disabilities, including organizations of women and girls with disabilities, in supporting international cooperation for disability-specific projects, agreements and programmes, in particular in relation to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
National implementation and monitoring (art. 33)
(a)Information on the current structure to implement the Convention, the identified focal points, the coordination mechanisms (art. 33 (1)) and measures to set up an independent mechanism compliant with the principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (the Paris Principles), to monitor the implementation of the Convention, as required by article 33 (2);
(b)Current information on the status, mandate and resources of an independent mechanism and on how persons with disabilities and their representative organizations are involved in the process of national implementation and the monitoring mechanism.