Press Releases

                                                                                                                     9 August 2004

    Vitit Muntarbhorn Appointed UN Special Rapporteur on Situation of Human Rights in Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

    (Reissued as received.)

    NEW YORK, 6 August (UN Headquarters) -- United Nations Commission on Human Rights Chairman Mike Smith has appointed Vitit Muntarbhorn (Thailand) as Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The appointment was made on 13 July 2004 in consultation with representatives of the different regional groups in the Commission.

    Mr. Muntarbhorn has earned international recognition for his expertise in human rights. He has served in various capacities in the United Nations system, including as Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography (1990-1994) and as expert or adviser to many United Nations organizations. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation on Human Rights.

    Mr. Muntarbhorn is currently a Professor of Law at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, teaching international law, human rights, humanitarian law and a variety of other subjects. He has participated in over 150 activities as seminar/ conference speaker, presenter or rapporteur in all regions of the world, ranging from United Nations conferences to training programmes for non-governmental organizations. He has published widely both locally and internationally on subjects ranging from human rights in the Asia-Pacific region to refugee law, child rights, women's rights and humanitarian law. He also undertakes various pro bono activities to help the civil society sector, such as training programmes on human rights.

    Special Rapporteurs and other "mandate-holders" of the Commission are independent from any government and serve in their individual capacity. The Special Rapporteur on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is mandated to investigate and report to the Commission and the General Assembly on the situation of human rights in the country, including compliance with its obligations under both international human rights instruments and international humanitarian law.

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