The United Nations Security Council has been holding talks about cases of alleged human rights abuses in North Korea.
Shin Dong-hyuk, who attended the special meeting in New York, says he was born into one of the country's political prison camps in 1982.
Shin's book "Escape from Camp 14" describes many atrocities, including being forced to watch the execution of his mother and brother.
His testimony is one of the key elements of a UN report alleging that the country's police and security forces of North Korea have committed crimes against humanity, including rape, torture, forced abortions and systematic extermination.
While the UN report calls for the Security Council to refer the issue to the International Criminal Court, this is unlikely to happen, given China, Pyongyang's ally, has the power to veto such a move and has already publicly rejected the document.
Al Jazeera's Cath Turner reports from New York.
Source: Al Jazeera