A new report from the United Nations human rights wing calls attention to more than 60 years of separation between families on the Korean peninsula, and urges action in order to alleviate the suffering of families.
“The emotional, psychological, social, and economic toll of involuntary separation persists to this day, as people continue to search for the truth and for contact with their loved ones,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.
The report, published on 7 December by the UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR), documents the experiences of families who have been separated since the 1950-1953 Korean War through displacement, forced disappearance and abductions, and as a result of those fleeing the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).
This report looks at past and present-day forms of involuntary separation and outlines a practical and humane approach to family reunification. These people are not just statistics; they are not a faceless mass of victims caught up in the sweep of history. They are individuals with their own, unimaginable, stories of suffering – a suffering that remains as acute as ever despite the passing of years,” the High Commissioner explained.