Tag Archives: human rights
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Agenda for Tokyo Seminar
“North Korean Children Beyond the Border” a documentary film (20minutes) to be played continuously as people enter…
Hiroshi Kato, Secretariat
Director of Life Funds for North Korean Refugees (LFNKR)
|14:00||State of Human Rights in Asia
Tokyo Director of Human Rights Watch
|14:20||Human Trafficking Forum
Stories from the victims
Opening remarks – Introduction
Testimony from victims
Participants Q & A
Trafficked North Korean women and their Children in China
Director of International Relations, LFNKR
The invisible trafficking to China from Kachin State in Myanmar
Director of Kachin Women’s Association in Thailand
Trafficking of North Koreans in China
Representative of Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition Japan
Reception condition of women and children asylum seekers in Japan
Secretary general of Japan Association for Refugees
Resettlement of North Korean Women and children in Japan
Representative of Society to Help Returnees to North Korea
Refugees and Human Rights in Asia
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.
Update from Suzanne Scholte
of North Korea Freedom Coalition
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
- immediately free the currently detained North Korean refugees and humanitarian aid workers, and
- grant Chinese nationality to North Korean defectors who marry Chinese citizens as well as to their children, and allow them to settle in China.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.