Human Rights

Human Rights

This website brings to you information that is not being well publicized as to what is happening in South and North Korea. It focuses on Korean politics, North Korean escapees/defectors, scandals, and overall relations with the United States. We have some links in Korean below.

This site is not affiliated with any religious, political, or idealogical group, and has the ultimate goal of peace on the Korean peninsula in a democratic form. How the Koreas get to that point is covered here. The world cannot stand by naively and ignore starving and tortured North Koreans being murdered through genocide. The time for action is now.

Peace on the Korean Peninsula needs to be in a Democratic form. Reunification with a hostile and corrupt North Korea is not possible, and those who call for the U.S. to leave South Korea are either very naive as to the lies and evilness of the North Korean regime or are openly in support of a unified Korea under the oppresive, brutal killing machine of Kim Jong Il.
PRAGUE, the Czech Republic – The Fourth International Conference on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees on March 4 launched a signature campaign Thursday, demanding that the deportation back home of North Korean refugees be stopped and that concentration camps in the North be abolished. Participants in the conference unanimously approved a resolution on the signature campaign, which Yoon Hyon, chairman of the Seoul-based Citizens Alliance for Human Rights in North Korea, proposed and singed. The adoption of the resolution came just before the three-day conference ended.
Nongovernmental organization representatives, human rights experts and politicians from a number of countries taking part in the conference are expected upon returning home to deliver the signed resolution to their respective parliaments and North Korean embassies in their countries. In addition, the signature campaign is to continue until the end of this year, when its outcome is to be delivered to the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Committee, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) and to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The launching of the signature campaign may not result in immediate and explicit pressure on either Pyongyang or Beijing. If it the campaign spreads to governments, parliaments and civic organizations in many countries as well as the U.N. human rights agencies, however, the serious human rights abuses in the North and the plight of North Korean refugees in China would become known widely in the international community, which, in turn could produce new pressure.

The international community might take up the issue of North Korean human rights and refugees as an international human rights agenda and apply pressure on North Korea and China. The issue has not yet attracted much world attention, but the signature campaign could contribute to making the problem a public issue.

The signature campaign could prompt the U.N. Human Rights Committee convening in Geneva in mid-March to adopt a North Korean human rights resolution, and appoint a “Special Rapporteur” on human rights in North Korea. A Special Rapporteur, if appointed, would herald human rights negotiations between the United Nations and North Korea and the annual submission of a report on the matter. The United Nations, based on the report, would debate human rights situation in the North and might adopt a resolution containing demands. A Special Rapporteur, if needed, could visit the North to conduct an on-the-spot inspection. Pyongyang could reject his or her entry, which, if done, would amount to on acknowledgement of human rights abuses in the North and could bring about sterner world pressure.

The signature campaign has increased the possibility for prominent nongovernmental organizations around the world to intervene in this question.

Rights Activists Make Demands for North Koreans

Ten resolutions were adopted at the conference for human rights for North Korea, now being held in Prague, the Czech Republic. Two of the demands were that China refrain from repatriating North Korean refugees, and that the North shut its concentration camps for political criminals. The 4th International Conference on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees began Monday and will run for four days. It is being held under the auspices of a South Korean NGO, the Citizens’ Alliance of North Korean Human Rights, and the Czech Republic’s People in Need Fund.

Along with the resolutions, a signature-seeking campaign was started to convince the international society to press ahead with the resolutions.

The resolution also said: “North Korea, as one of the nations to officially recognize international human rights, must ensure that its people’s human rights are respected,” and “We are determined to continue our efforts until the light of human rights shines upon the North Koreans.”

Representatives of NGOs, human rights experts and politicians signed the resolution as a way to participate in the signature-gathering campaign. The signatures of these people will be sent to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The campaign will continue until the end of this year.

North Korean and Chinese Embassies in Prague Hit with Protests

A Japanese participant in the Fourth International Conference on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees proposed that an international body inspect concentration camps in North Korea. A professor at Nishogakusha University in Japan, Haruhashi Okawa, said that human rights inspections of North Korean concentration camps are as necessary as are those of the country’s nuclear facilities. Participants made various proposals at the conference in the course of making presentations and conducting a debate on the status of concentration camps and the food shortages in the North. Hiroshi Kato, secretary general of Fund for Assisting North Korean Refugees, suggested waging a campaign boycotting of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing in a bid to force China to improve the treatment of North Korean refugees in China. He also proposed that an international court be established to look into human rights abuses involving refugees from the North. Japanese lawmaker Masaharu Nakagawa put forward an idea of jointly setting up emergency humanitarian relief centers in the border areas between North Korea and China, and between North Korea and Russia, to look after refugees.

Watching a video showing severely how the human rights of North Korean refugees are infringed upon, the participants were aghast. “It makes my heart ache,” said Lucia Kbasova, a Slovakian radio reporter.

For about an hour at around 5:30 pm on March 4, the last day of the conference, over 60 participants held candlelight vigils in front of the embassies of Pyongyang and Beijing in Prague, in protest of North Korean and Chinese attitudes toward human rights and refugees.

In front of the Chinese embassy, which the protesters visited first, the participants, among them Yoon Hyun, secretary-general, Citizens Coalition for Human Rights in North Korea, and Mahurin Visonie, representative in Seoul of the organization Doctors without Border, read a list of North Korean refugees China has deported back to the north, and slipped into the embassy door an envelope containing personal information on the deportees.

Carrying lit candles, the protesters moved to the North Korean embassy, two blocks away, shouting slogans such as, “Shine the light of human rights on North Korea,” and “Free all political prisoners.” They then pushed under the embassy’s door a resolution adopted at the conference and signed by all the participants, and a letter addressed to Kim Jong Il.

The steel doors of both diplomatic premises were shut tight while the vigil was on. With the lights turned off, neither showed any reaction.