Joint Appeal to Thailand

175 NK Refugees Still Need Help

Life Funds for North Korean Refugees (LFNKR) has jointly submitted the following Appeal to the Immigration Authorities of Thailand.

We urge you to send another letter to the Thai Ambassador in your country requesting that these refugees be safely released to South Korea or other country where they will be safe from repatriation to North Korea.

Feel free to attach the following appeal to your letter.



6 September 2006

To: Immigration Authorities,
Kingdom of Thailand

It has come to our attention that the Kingdom of Thailand has recently imposed penalties on a large number of North Korean refugees on account of their illegal entry into or presence in Thailand. We believe this action to be in opposition to the spirit of Article 31 of the 1951 UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION RELATING TO THE STATUS OF REFUGEES.

We admit to even greater surprise as the recent penalties imposed on a large number of North Korean refugees stand in stark contrast to Thailand’s long and internationally respected history of humanitarianism and its full compliance with the abovementioned Convention. This long tradition of compliance was most admirably observed in the 1970s when Thailand provided humanitarian sanctuary to several hundred thousand Cambodian refugees in full cooperation with the United Nations Border Relief Operations (UNBRO) and the UNHCR.

We wish to appeal to the Kingdom of Thailand to reconsider its policy and allow the North Korean refugees to present themselves without delay to the Thai authorities and show good cause for their illegal entry or presence in full observation of the 1951 Convention.

Your kind consideration in light of this appeal will be greatly appreciated.

Respectfully Yours,
Masahiro Goto, Life Funds for North Korean Refugees
Tokyo, Japan
Tim Peters, Helping Hands Korea
Norbert Vollertsen, German Emergency Doctor
Peter Chung,
Sang Hun Kim, International Human Rights Volunteer


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