Dispatch a Human Rights Survey Mission to North Korea and
Demand a Halt to China’s Repatriation of North
Last year, NGOs hosted a joint international conference on strategies
and action plans for resolving issues related to North Korean
refugee and their human rights.
This year, the Democratic Party of Japan, as host the Second
General Meeting of International Parliamentarians’ Coalition
for the North Korean Refugees (IPCNKR), proposes a joint convention
of NGOs together with IPCNKR. This joint convention is expected
to more powerfully impact the international community.
The flow of North Korean refugees fleeing to China continues
unabated. Meanwhile, a growing flood of reports tell of the Chinese
government’s “refugee hunts” and rising death
tolls among North Korean refugees forcibly repatriated after
being hunted down.
In the 1951 United Nations Convention on Refugees, the central
provision stipulates unequivocally that “governments are
obliged not to expel or return an asylum seeker to a territory
where she or he faces persecution.” Moreover, the lives
of refugees must be firmly secured, and freedom for basic needs
and food must also be assured.
China is party to this UN Convention, yet it has never identified
as a refugee any North Korean within its territory. Nor has it
revised its statement that North Koreans in China are not refugees
but mere illegal immigrants. China continues forcible repatriations.
China’s refusal to abide by the UN Convention, to which
it is a signatory nation, is a primary reason that the UNHCR
has never been allowed unimpeded access to North Korean refugees
and defectors. Tragically, the UNHCR is failing in its duty to
exercise authority over China as provided by the Convention on
Refugees. That organization cites difficulty and complexity in
dealing with the Chinese government as its excuse for failing
to fulfill its mandate.
The Chinese government consistently ignores crimes of trafficking
in North Korean defectors by China’s underworld. North
Korean women are regularly sold to traffickers and forced into
prostitution. This implies China’s official acknowledgement
of its involvement in human rights violations against North Korean
refugees. At the same time, that country ignores grievous crimes
against refugees and violates the provisions of the 1951 UN Convention
The international community must demand a halt to these failures.
The clear mission of all members of international parliaments
and NGOs who hold democratic views and who embrace human rights
is to bring resolution to this situation. Our groups must work
to disclose human rights violations in China. But even further,
we must also encourage national leaders and legislators everywhere
to call for a halt of China’s inhumane conduct and human
The actions listed below are the absolute minimum to be attained:
rights monitors must be deployed throughout
North Korea to investigate detention settlements, current
conditions for foreign national abductees in North Korea
and defectors who have been forcibly repatriated by the
Chinese government must be urged to halt forcible repatriations.
The convention must seek to assure human rights in China
and throughout Asia.
country should enact a North Korean Freedom Act, enabling the protection
of North Korean defectors and the halting of human rights
violations against North Korean refugees. Such enactments
by individual nations will lead to the forming of an international
consensus on the issue of North Korean refugees and human
Life Funds for North Korean Refugees (LFNKR)
A-101, 2-2-8 Nishikata