N.K. lacks accessible infrastructure for disabled persons: expert

SEOUL, :The U.N. Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, Catalina Devandas-Aguilar, has pointed out the inadequacy of infrastructure for persons with disabilities in North Korea, a U.S. broadcaster reported Wednesday.

The expert made the point in a pre-report on her visit to North Korea in May last year, which she submitted to the 37th session of the U.N. Human Rights Council set for late next month, Voice of America said.

Devandas-Aguilar visited Pyongyang and South Hwanghae Province at the North's invitation from May 3-8 to get a grasp on the situation of persons with disabilities in the poverty-stricken country.

In the report, she said she witnessed that most social infrastructure is inaccessible to physically-challenged persons, the broadcaster said.

The Science Technology Complex, completed in 2015; the arrival gate at Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang, which opened in 2016; and the Pyongyang First Boarding School, which underwent full-scale repair work last year, were not exceptions, she said.

Persons with disabilities in North Korea are continually excluded or isolated from society, easily becoming the target of negative perceptions and discrimination, and fail to receive attention from local communities and governments, according to Devandas-Aguilar.

The expert also said she knows about but could not confirm suspicions that persons with dwarfism or mental disorders live in isolation facilities.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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