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Prison conditions are harsh. Jails are overcrowded and do not provide adequate medical care or food to inmates. Outbreaks The Human Rights Encyclopedia of typhoid in some prisons have represented a problem in recent years. Pretrial detention periods for many are extremely long, due to limited police and judicial resources and a high crime rate. Moreover, political interests routinely interfere with due process, although the judiciary is supposedly constitutionally independent. The government generally respects the privacy rights of its citizens, but at times authorities commit abuses in this area.
The government controls internal travel and the movement of citizens. The regime does not allow emigration and limits foreign travel to officials and trusted artists, athletes, academics, and religious figures. Although North Korea is a member of the UN, it does not participate in international refugee forums. In recent years, there has been an increase in North Korean defectors arriving in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and other Asian countries. The regime reportedly takes action against the relatives of those who manage to escape.
The North Korean Human Rights Committee established in 1992 denies the existence of any human rights violations in North Korea. In 1996, a delegation from Amnesty International was allowed to visit the country, although they were allowed to see very little, and no visiting was allowed without supervision. In April 1998, during the fifty-forth meeting of the UN Commission on Human Rights, the North Korean delegation accused the international community of slandering North Korea’s human rights record.