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Resolution by LFNKR

Tokyo, August 1, 2005


To Dispatch a Human Rights Survey Mission to North Korea and

Resolved: To Demand a Halt to China’s Repatriation of North Korean Refugees

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 on Refugees.

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 rights violations.

The actions listed below are the absolute minimum to be attained:

First, human 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.

Second, the Chinese government must be urged to halt forcible repatriations. The convention must seek to assure human rights in China and throughout Asia.

Third, each 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 rights.

Life Funds for North Korean Refugees (LFNKR)
A-101, 2-2-8 Nishikata
Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Japan 113-0024
Tel/Fax: 03-3815-8127