Photo: Ivars Kupcis/WCC

Photo: Ivars Kupcis/WCC

A report, “The Human Costs and Gendered Impact of Sanctions on North Korea,” presented in Geneva, Switzerland, on 5 November, provides a comprehensive and critical assessment of the impact of sanctions against North Korea. The report, launched during an event co-organized by the Korea Peace Now campaign and the Women`s International League for Peace and Freedom, shows adverse consequences particularly for women.

The report, produced by an international and multidisciplinary panel of independent experts, draws on information from UN agencies on the ground as well as the authors’ combined expertise.

World Council of Churches (WCC) director for international affairs Peter Prove welcomed the report, which he said helps substantiate the concern that WCC has repeatedly heard from churches and church-based organizations offering humanitarian relief and promoting development in North Korea.

“We believe that the unprecedented and unremitting severity of the sanctions regime against DPRK not only obstructs any meaningful humanitarian, development and diaconal initiatives for North Korean people, but also poisons the political context for dialogue and progress towards peace increasing actually the risk of conflict,” said Prove.

“The special contribution of this report is to highlight the disproportionate impact of the current sanctions regime on North Korean women, making them more vulnerable to, among other things, domestic violence and trafficking,” Prove stated. He concluded by recommending the report to all those responsible for the current configuration of the sanctions regime, and urged them to take up its recommendations.

WCC convenes the Ecumenical Forum for Peace, Reunification and Development Cooperation for Korea (EFK), which brings together churches and church-related agencies that have a role and interest in supporting humanitarian assistance and development cooperation in North Korea. EFK members have repeatedly sounded the alarm about the negative humanitarian and political impacts of the current sanctions regime.


“The Human Costs and Gendered Impact of Sanctions on North Korea”

Peace forum: “there must be no more war on the Korean Peninsula” (WCC news release, 12 July 2019)