Tag Archives: human rights

Mapping Crimes Against Humanity in North Korea

New Report on Rights Abuses

Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG), a Seoul-based non-governmental organization, published on July 19 a report entitled “Mapping Crimes Against Humanity in North Korea.”

Providing information on the killing sites, mass graves, and documentary evidence, the report adds to the report more specific information to the detailed findings of the commission of inquiry on human rights in DPRK” by UN Human Rights Council.

LFNKR applauds the great efforts of TJWG to prepare this unique report. It has already generated new momentum for thoroughly investigating the crimes against humanity in North Korea.

Mapping Crimes Against Humanity in North Korea

 

Repatriation of 9 Orphans Draws World Attention

Heavyweight International Groups Getting Involved

The story of the 9 young orphans summarily shipped back to North Korea by the Lao government has captured the world’s attention and stirred strong emotions around the globe.

Amnesty International has issued an “Urgent Action” document as a call for the world community to take a firm stand against the reckless behavior of the Lao government. 

Satellite Photos of NK Prison Camp

NK Camp 22 Report

North Korea’s Infamous Prison Camp 22

A special report titled “North Korea’s Camp No. 22 was released last week by the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK), a non-governmental organization based in Washington, D.C. The report was compiled in collaboration with DigitalGlobe (NYSE: DGI), a leading global provider of high-resolution earth imagery solutions.

NK to Launch a Rocket Soon

Gwangmyunsung-3 Missile

Since its founding in 1998, Life Funds for North Korean Refugees (LFNKR), a Japanese citizen’s group, has devoted itself to supplying food, clothing, and medical goods directly to starving North Korean people.

After nearly 14 years of continuing efforts, we still see no improvement in the food shortage, nor a reduction in human rights violations in North Korea. The outflow of people desperate enough to flee their fatherland for other countries has not abated.

LFNKR Translates White Paper on NK Human Rights

  

LFNKR announces its translation into Japanese of the 410-page “White Paper on Human Rights” published by the Korea Institute for National Unification. This is the first time a Japanese version of the white paper has been available. The paper, originally published in the Korean language in 2010, is a detailed report on human rights issues in North Korea. We believe that the translated version will help more Japanese understand the human rights situation in North Korea.

LFNKR Annual Report Released

Introduction

When North Korea suddenly switched to a new currency in November 2009, the low limit for exchanges ensured that any savings accumulated in old currency by North Koreans largely vanished. This demonstrates that although the developing private market activity had only reached a rudimentary level, it was possible for people to accumulate new wealth. This growing segment of newly wealthy was dominating distribution and their voices began to be heard in their communities.

SK President’s Policies Ignore Refugees

Nothing New from Lee Myung-bak

South Korea’s pro-North stance, including its Sunshine Policy and its Engagement Policy implemented by the regimes of Kim Dae-jung and Roh-Moo-hyun, has caused untold suffering for the North Korean people and North Korean defectors due to rampant human rights violations. 

Rumors – China May Recognize Some NK Refugees

Expectations High, but Will Plan Be Implemented?

Rumors filtering out of China recently suggest that the Chinese government may begin granting refugee status to some North Korean defectors. The Chinese government has so far stuck to its official position that there are no North Korean refugees in China, that North Korean defectors have entered China illegally, and that their stay in China is illegal.

Seminar on Refugees & Human Rights to Be Held in Tokyo

Agenda for Tokyo Seminar

13:00 Registration
“North Korean Children Beyond the Border” a documentary film (20minutes) to be played continuously as people enter…
13:30 Welcoming Remarks
Hiroshi Kato, Secretariat
Director of Life Funds for North Korean Refugees (LFNKR)
14:00 State of Human Rights in Asia
Kanae Doi
Tokyo Director of Human Rights Watch
14:20 Human Trafficking Forum
Stories from the victims
Opening remarks – Introduction
Testimony from victims
Participants Q & A
15:20 Presentation
Trafficked North Korean women and their Children in China
Kate Nielsen
Director of International Relations, LFNKR
15:40 Presentation
The invisible trafficking to China from Kachin State in Myanmar
Shirley Seng
Director of Kachin Women’s Association in Thailand
16:00 Presentation
Trafficking of North Koreans in China
Lin Fei
Representative of Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition Japan
16:20 Presentation
Reception condition of women and children asylum seekers in Japan
Eri Ishikawa
Secretary general of Japan Association for Refugees
16:40 Presentation
Resettlement of North Korean Women and children in Japan
Kotaro Miura
Representative of Society to Help Returnees to North Korea
17:00 Panel Discussion
Refugees and Human Rights in Asia
17:40 Closing Remarks

U.S. Senator Nixes Ambassador Nominee over NK Human Rights

U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback (R. Kansas)

US State Dept. too Soft on Kim Jong Il?

United States Senator Sam Brownback (R. Kansas), a long-time champion of North Korean refugees and their human rights, gave an impassioned speech from the Senate floor outlining his reasons for putting a hold on the nomination of Kathleen Stephens as ambassador to South Korea.

Join the North Korean Freedom Week Events

Update from Suzanne Scholte
of North Korea Freedom Coalition

Dear Friends:

I am pleased to send another update on the events confirmed for North Korea Freedom Week April 26-May 3, 2008. 

Please note that since my last update we have added several additional events: another panel session, a special demonstration by Youth for Truth and as a testament to the importance of North Korea Freedom Week, the producer of the soon-to-be-released movie Crossing, Patrick Cheh, is coming to show a special screening of this movie that is scheduled for threatrical release in South Korea in June.  

LFNKR’s Kato Speaks on Human Trafficing of NK Women

Kato Hiroshi, of LFNKR, speaks on human trafficking of NK women

Speech by Kato Hiroshi, Executive Director
Life Funds for North Korean Refugees

Ladies and gentlemen, it is an honor for me to be here today and I would like to thank The Committee for the Bangkok International Conference for North Korean Human Rights for giving me the opportunity to say a few words on behalf of Life Funds for North Korean Refugees.

North Korea Freedom Week Slated for US Capital this April

From Suzanne Scholte, North Korean Freedom Coalition

Below is a list of the public events being held the week of April 22-29 to promote the freedom, human rights and dignity of the North Korean people. At the bottom of this page you will also find an invitation to Defense Forum Foundation’s Forum on Capitol Hill with North Korean Defectors on Friday, April 27. North Korea Freedom Week is just a few days away! Please help us promote attendance at these events by spreading the word. 

International Protest Day – Sample Letter

Citizens Worldwide Mail Protests

This coming winter, the number of starving North Korean refugees escaping into China is expected to increase, particularly in light of the major flooding in North Korea.

Meanwhile, the Chinese government continues to hunt down and repatriate North Korean refugees, while also arresting humanitarian aid workers. We must persist in our protests against Chinese government actions in order to save the starving North Korean refugees.

December 2 has been set as a day for simultaneous worldwide protest. Here in Japan, LFNKR and other groups involved in the rescue of North Korean refugees will stage a protest in front of the Chinese Embassy in this country.

You can join us by sending protest email to the Chinese embassy in your country.

Here is a list of embassy addresses.

And below is a sample letter you can use as a guideline when writing your own letter.


 

Sample Letter:

Dear President Hu Jintao,

Please immediately stop arresting and repatriating North Korean refugees.

On Dec. 2, many citizens’ groups in Europe, the USA, South Korea, and Japan are simultaneously doing joint protests in front of Chinese embassies in their countries. The purpose that we share, which surpasses race, religion, and ideology, is to help the lives and human rights of the people seeking to escape from starvation and oppression in North Korea.

It is widely known that yearly tens of thousands of North Korean defectors have escaped into China for more than a decade. The Chinese government, however, has ignored the voices of the international community urging your government to immediately stop repatriating North Korean refugees and to cease arresting the aid workers who try to help them.

It is also widely known that a staggering number of North Korean women are victims of human trafficking in China and that even when they marry Chinese men and bear children, most of them are still arrested and sent back to North Korea. The children born of these marriages often remain without nationality and are therefore denied an education. Your government continues mercilessly depriving those innocent children of their mothers and of their basic human rights.

These are not only inhumane acts, they violate the Refugees Convention to which your country is signatory. This fact seriously dishonors China in the international community.

I urge the Chinese government to:

  1. immediately stop arresting, detaining or repatriating North Korean refugees and duly to protect them in your country under the supervision of UNHCR or other related international organization, and to assure them safe passage to third countries if they wish to leave.
  2. immediately free the currently detained North Korean refugees and humanitarian aid workers, and
  3. grant Chinese nationality to North Korean defectors who marry Chinese citizens as well as to their children, and allow them to settle in China.

(Your name)

 

 

LFNKR Action Plan for FY 2006-2007

Overview

Last year, a single charter flight from Vietnam carried 460 North Koreans into South Korea. This case had a strong impact on the international community and spotlighted North Korea’s human rights problems. It remains to be seen, however, what lessons it has taught the South Korean government, which fears a similar incident occurring in Thailand.

175 NK Refugees in Thai Custody

You Can Help – Mail a Letter

The Thai government is negotiating with the United Nations and the South Korean government after Thai police followed a tip and found 175 North Koreans at a house in Bangkok. Following a tip-off by the neighbors, the Thai police raided a house on August 22, 2006, where they found 128 women, 37 men and 10 children, all North Koreans. The refugees were being sheltered while seeking asylum in other countries, including South Korea. 

In-Depth Overview of NK Refugee Issues

Tim Peters of Helping Hands Korea addresses a Joint Session of NGOs and Lawmakers from 4 Nations

Tim Peters, Founder, Helping Hands Korea

I am very honored to address this joint conference that brings together a wide range of NGO’s and the Inter-Parliamentarian Coalition for North Korean Refugees and Human Rights that includes distinguished representatives of Japan’s House of Councilors and House of Representatives, U.S. Congressmen, the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, representatives of the State Great Hural (Parliament) of Mongolia and the Parliament of New Zealand. 

Lawmaker Proposes Human Rights Law in Japan Diet

Diet member, Masaharu Nakagawa …

is spearheading a parliamentary bill addressing a number of current problems that Japan faces with its neighbor, North Korea. The bill, sponsored by the Democratic Party of Japan, was officially presented to the House of Representatives on Feb. 25, 2005 under the leadership of Rep. Nakagawa, team leader of the North Korea Issue Project. The Democratic Party is targeting passage of the bill during the current session. 

Chinese Government Siezes More Refugees

65 Refugees, 2 Rescue Workers 

LFNKR, together with all other human rights and humanitarian organizations, calls for China to release immediately the 65 North Korean refugees and the 2 Korean rescue workers, who have been arrested and are being unjustly held in prison.

LFNKR received the following English translation of a statement issued in Korean by the Democracy Network Against the North Korean Gulag. 

Asylum Seekers Arrested inside American School

Chinese police take women and children away

On Monday, the 27th of September, 8 North Korean women and children entered the Elementary school building of the Shanghai American School, where school administrators called Chinese Police, then surrendered the refugees to the authorities.

Below is an email our organization received directly from an eyewitness at the school, describing what happened. That message is followed by a statement apparently issued by the school administrator.

Noguchi Back From China Imprisonment

Noguchi's face clouds when discussing the two Japan-born North Korean refugees being repatriated.

Takayuki Noguchi Arrives in Japan

Noguchi’s face clouds as he tells of the two Japan-born North Korean refugees he tried to save. They were eventually repatriated. 

At approximately 9:00 PM on 9th August, Takayuki Noguchi walked through the arrival gate at Narita Airport, after having served an 8-month prison sentence for attempting to assist two Japan-born North Korean refugees.

Noguchi Sentenced to 8 Months

OFFICIAL STATEMENT
For Press Conference 28 June 2004

The sentencing of Takayuki Noguchi, a member of the Japanese NGO Life Funds for North Korean Refugees (LFNKR), was held At 10:00AM June 28, 2004 at Chong Zuo Intermediate People’s Court in Nanning, Guangxi in China.

Noguchi was charged with one count of illegally transporting people with the intent of crossing the border (Article 321 of the Chinese Domestic Criminal Code) and an additional count of attempting to assist in illegally crossing the border (Article 61). He was sentenced to 8 months in prison and fined 20,000 RMB (about US$2,778). All his personal goods, including 340,000 yen in cash (about US$3,148), a video camera, and a cellular phone were also confiscated.