2014 Annual Report

2014 Annual Report Overview
Date: November 29, 2014

From 17th Gen. Meeting Oct. 19, 2014

As a member of the ICNK, LFNKR has been actively working with other international NGO members to help the UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) to investigate North Korean human rights violations. Primary activities include providing investigation materials, as well as related North Korean and Chinese written laws and regulations, testimonies by previous detainees at the notorious death camps and their relatives, public hearings of North Korean defectors and nonofficial interviews with North Korean defectors.

This has been one of LFNKR’s major activities over the past few years, and especially since Sept. 2011 when the ICNK (International Coalition to Stop Crimes against Humanity in North Korea) was established.

Our group’s efforts have been rewarded; the UN recently issued a resolution condemning North Korea for human rights abuses and recommending for the first time the prosecution of its leaders for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court. This is a big step forward.

From Daily NK
U.N. Committee Calls for NK ICC Referral

From The New York Times:
United Nations Urges North Korea Prosecutions

Rescue operation for North Korean defectors
According to the Ministry of Unification of the South Korean government, the number of North Korean defectors accepted by that government in 2011 was 2,737, which was most people ever. The numbers fell to 1,509 in 2012 and 1,516 in 2013. About 70% of the defectors are female.

During the past year, LFNKR helped 11 defectors to reach a safe third country, nine of whom chose to resettle in South Korea.

There were two cases where North Koreans legitimately left North Korea to earn foreign currency but then became asylum seekers.

There was also a notable incident. The Chinese government detained 11 North Korean defectors at the border of Yunnan Province of China and Lao and forcibly deported them into exile. This is a rare case, and it implies that the relationship between China and North Korea is worsening.

Distributing food and medicines and providing medical aids
During the past fiscal year our organization:

  • Supplied 1 ton of corn noodles to an orphanage in North Korea.
  • Sent 3 cartons of wool caps, gloves and mufflers and 20 T-shirts received from Ms. JJ in the US to the orphanage in North Korea.
  • Supplied home medical kits, deworming medicines, and nutritional supplements to North Korea.

Education Sponsorship Program
LFNKR currently has 14 children under its education sponsorship program, including 5 new children, whose mothers have been forcibly returned to North Korea.

Our current program covers only up through the mandatory education level. Some of the children have passed the age of mandatory education. Thus, LFNKR faces a difficult task, that of finding ways to continue our educational support for the children who are competent and willing to go on to higher level schooling. Currently, the voluntary donations from people wishing to help give these students the opportunity of higher schooling are being applied.

Publicity Activities
A typical activity for spreading awareness of the human rights situation in North Korea is to disseminate books on abuses and violations of human rights in the country. However, there are very few books on the topic written by Japanese researchers or experts.

LFNKR has tackled the translation of publications by North Korea Human Rights Database Center (NKDB) in South Korea. Upon the acquisition of translation rights into Japanese, LFNKR formed a translation team and has already completed the translation of two books, one on the management system of North Korea’s political prisons and the other on the management system of North Korea’s labor camps, both in connection to human rights. The LFNKR translation team is now working on a publication related to the power elite in North Korea.

Other major publicity activities include appearing on a talk show, during which the film “Escape from Camp 14” was screened, and another talk show jointly held with Amnesty International, Kanagawa Branch. Both were very well received.


Summary of LFNKR Activities
During the Past Fiscal Year
(Sept 1, 2013 to Aug. 31, 2014)
Sept. ~ Dec. 2013
Sept. 1: Distributed one ton of corn noodles to needy poor in North Korea
Sept. 20: Presented an updated report at the Int’l human rights conference, Tokyo Bar Association
Oct. 5~6: Participated in Global Festival held in Tokyo (annual event in which about 250 international organizations, embassies, and NGOs participated)
Oct. 12: Presented speeches on the human rights issue of North Korea at the human rights public meeting held in Kanagawa Pref.
Oct. 17: Provided protection for a North Korean defector in Russia
Nov. 7: Hiroshi Kato, head director of LFNKR, Lectured on the North Korean human rights issue at Meiji University
Dec. 3~7: Operation to rescue North Korean defectors
Dec. 14: Participated in Human Rights Symposium hosted by the Japanese government 
Jan. ~ Aug. 2014
Feb. 1~2: Participated in One World Festival
(click here to read more)
March 15: Appeared on a talk show to give background on the movie “Crossing”, which was screened)
March 26: Hiroshi Kato, head director of LFNKR, lectured on North Korean human rights issues at a junior high school in Tokyo
Apr. 10~15: Rescue operation “Tenma No. 14-1”
May 8: Exchanged opinions at Headquarters for the Abduction Issue, hosted by the Government of Japan
May 21: Exchanged opinions on North Korean human rights issues at the French Embassy
June 22: Held talk show jointly with Amnesty Kanagawa where we screened a film about Shin Dong-hyuk)
July 1: Exchanged opinions on North Korean human rights issues and the situation in East Asia
July 6: Lectured on North Korean refugees at Ichikawa Sanbonmatsu Christian church in Chiba Pref., Japan
July 14: Submitted to MOFA a solicitation document regarding the Agreement between Japan and North Korea
Aug. 9~31: Participated in the public hearing hosted by the UN Commission of Inquiry (COI)