North Korea Final Betsy Nov17

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Human rights violations in North Korea and what we can do... presented mostly for youth groups

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North Korea Final Betsy Nov17

  1. 1. Peace Jam Slam Workshop North Korea - What We Do Not Know and Why the Silence?  University of Bradford November 14, 2009 Betsy Kawamura [email_address] , +44 07752 411458
  2. 2. North Korea - What We Do Not Know and Why the Silence? <ul><li>The Situation – Why were North Koreans leaving? </li></ul><ul><li>1990s - North Korean refugees began crossing into China due to famine. Kim Jong-il tried to prevent this. Early refugees who crossed the border were shocked reaching China: it was a “paradise”. People had electricity, cars, and importantly, food. Soon 500,000+ North Koreans crossed the border to feed their starving families back home. Source S. Scholte </li></ul><ul><li>WWW.UNIFYKOREA2009.COM Video Clip </li></ul>
  3. 3. North Korea - What We Do Not Know and Why the Silence? <ul><li>China + North Korea relations re defectors </li></ul><ul><li>China signed an agreement with the DPRK to arrest refugees and force them back to North Korea. It is a criminal offense, punishable by death, for a North Korean to leave their country without permission. Under international law, North Korean defectors meet the definition of an asylum seeker. China is obligated not to repatriate them under 1951 U.N. Convention on Status of Refugees and its 1969 Protocol. </li></ul><ul><li>But China does. </li></ul>
  4. 4. North Korea - What We Do Not Know and Why the Silence? <ul><li>China refuses to abide by its international agreements and jails people who try to help North Korean refugees </li></ul><ul><li>Every North Korean who is forced back to North Korea by China is imprisoned +tortured. About 250,000 in gulags. </li></ul><ul><li>About 1 million die in gulags since ‘72 </li></ul><ul><li>Steve Kim, now in USA was jailed for 4 years for helping NKers. His two Chinese colleagues were given 2 years. Source S. Scholte+others </li></ul>
  5. 5. North Korea - What We Do Not Know and Why the Silence? <ul><li>SITUATION for WOMEN DEFECTORS + CHILDREN </li></ul><ul><li>Over 80+% of North Korean females have been victims of trafficking, while men are treated as slave laborers.   </li></ul><ul><li>North Korean females are in demand. China has shortage of women resulting from one child policy. </li></ul><ul><li>Human traffickers lure them into China with the promise of jobs. But many become forced wives, driven into prostitution, sexual slavery </li></ul>
  6. 6. North Korea - What We Do Not Know and Why the Silence? <ul><li>Forced abortions in prisons </li></ul><ul><li>Children tortured and forced into slave labour. No education for many. </li></ul><ul><li>Testimony available by former guards and other NK defectors. </li></ul>
  7. 7. North Korea - What We Do Not Know and Why the Silence? <ul><li>A Case of a Woman “… I was sold for (4,000 yuan) $586, and taken to a place called Hualong. The Chinese brokers called us women ‘pigs’.” </li></ul><ul><li>Another woman sold as “the best pig.” - beast of burden - man bought her for the “enormous sum” of (7000 yuan) $1,025. Sold again then sent to a political prison camp where she witnessed suffering of other North Koreans. (Source T. Peters, S. Scholte + others) </li></ul>
  8. 8. North Korea - What We Do Not Know and Why the Silence? <ul><li>China´s Policy on North Korean Defectors - Why This Policy? </li></ul><ul><li>PROBLEM : if China showed compassion to the refugees , fear that China would be flooded with refugees + collapse of the North Korean regime. About 500,000 crossed the border and 4 million people died of starvation (since ’95), but Kim Jong-il’s grip on power has not faltered. Such fear is unfounded . South Korea also has some fears on economic burden. </li></ul>
  9. 9. North Korea - What We Do Not Know and Why the Silence? <ul><li>Many wish to return to North Korea if conditions improve. If China allowed refugees safe passage, this would create pressure on Kim Jong-il to reform NK </li></ul><ul><li>If North Korea’s conditions improve, China + other countries will have less problems with refugees. </li></ul><ul><li>Sources T. Peters, S. Scholte, N. Vollertsen </li></ul>
  10. 10. North Korea - What We Do Not Know and Why the Silence? <ul><li>Lack of freedom of religious expression.     </li></ul><ul><li>Religion is forbidden, along with &quot;anti governmental“ actions. Three generations of this person’s family can be put into gulags.. Lack of freedom of expression </li></ul><ul><li>NGO’s have categorized the DPRK as the worst persecutor globally of those who hold religious beliefs. </li></ul>
  11. 11. North Korea - What We Do Not Know and Why the Silence? <ul><li>Testimonies by DPRK defectors: </li></ul><ul><li>..Severe persecution if one is simply found with a Bible or embracing any religious faith… </li></ul><ul><li>… Abuse by SSA officers…kicked me all over my body indiscriminately.. frequently hung from the ceiling upside down for beating … saw the cadavers of 30 to 40 prisoners. …Beating continued almost daily to extract names of other North Korean Christians. Source T. Peters </li></ul>
  12. 12. North Korea - What We Do Not Know and Why the Silence? <ul><li>Solutions? </li></ul><ul><li>1. China should allow NK refugees safe passage: NKers have a place to go as they are citizens of South Korea, under Articles 2 and 3 of the Republic of Korea Constitution. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Urge United Nations High Commission for Refugees to be firm – they have office in Beijing, but China prevents them from having access to the refugees and arrests North Koreans who try to approach their offices. </li></ul>
  13. 13. North Korea - What We Do Not Know and Why the Silence? <ul><li>3. Urge China to observe United Nations Conventions Against Torture, CEDAW (Convention to eliminate discrimination against women), UNSC Resolutions 1325, 1880 + 1888 (protection of women) and on refugees. As permanent member of United Nations Security Council, China has large global responsibilities. </li></ul>
  14. 14. North Korea - What We Do Not Know and Why the Silence? <ul><li>4. The North Korea Human Rights Act of USA - $20 million allocated to help North Korean refugees. But NGOs involved in the underground railroad cannot use funds because China’s permission is required. Sources T. Peters, S. Scholte </li></ul>
  15. 15. North Korea - What We Do Not Know and Why the Silence? <ul><li>5. USA, S. Korea, Japan and other countries capable of establishing First Asylum policy for North Korea refugees, (i.e. Vietnamese boat people). Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos should provide temporary asylum.. </li></ul><ul><li>UK has 1,000+ NK asylum seekers; USA has less than 100 . </li></ul><ul><li>(various sources) </li></ul>
  16. 16. North Korea - What We Do Not Know and Why the Silence? WHAT WOULD YOU DO to Challenge Kim Jong Il ? – and to convince President Hu Jintao of China to stop repatriation of NK refugees ? ? What Can You Tell Your UK Government??
  17. 17. North Korea - What We Do Not Know and Why the Silence? <ul><li>  </li></ul>Would you speak up against your government ? Or would you work with them? At what cost to you + to your family?
  18. 18. North Korea - What We Do Not Know and Why the Silence? <ul><li>DISCUSSION TIME – </li></ul><ul><li>W H A T I F ?? </li></ul><ul><li>If someone would pay you money + give prestige to turn in a North Korea defector, what would you do ? </li></ul><ul><li>2. If your very poor family will be rewarded by turning in a NK refugee - with more food, medicine and money, what would you do, under current suffering? </li></ul>
  19. 19. North Korea - What We Do Not Know and Why the Silence? <ul><li>3.  If you had had chance to turn in ‘troublesome’ person to Chinese or North Korean authorities, to 'get rid' of them, what would you do ? </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>4.  If the only way to success + prestige was to follow NK government regime even if you disagreed, what would you do? </li></ul><ul><li>5. Would you speak up against your government? At what cost? </li></ul>
  20. 20. Suggestions <ul><li>Assist Chinese citizens who feed and help North Korean refugees escape to other countries; stop jailing them </li></ul><ul><li>China should work with community by finding resettlement for NK defectors in other countries.. Put pressure on Chinese government. (from S.Scholte + others ) </li></ul>Y O U R S U G G E S T I O N S ? ?
  21. 21. North Korea - What We Do Not Know and Why the Silence? <ul><li>CONCRETE ACTION WE CAN TAKE: </li></ul><ul><li>WRITING TO : </li></ul><ul><li>UK Members of Parliament to focus on relations between China +North Korea </li></ul><ul><li>Letters to Hilary Clinton, President Obama, members of United Nations Security Council </li></ul><ul><li>Members of European Union in Brussels and Strasbourg </li></ul><ul><li>Letters directly to Embassies of Korea globally to support NK defectors </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><ul><ul><li>Register of All-Party Groups     Country Groups  All-Party British-North Korea Parliamentary Group </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Engages in dialogue with the Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea; to develop links between parliamentarians in both countries; and to foster democracy and democratic institutions . </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>OFFICERS Lord Alton of Liverpool Baroness Cox Jim Dobbin Gordon Prentice Gary Streeter Lord Bates Lord Clarke of Hampstead David Amess Nigel Evans Mark Pritchard </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>              </li></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>CONTACT DETAILS FOR GENERAL  </li></ul><ul><li>ENQUIRIES ABOUT THE GROUP </li></ul><ul><li>Lord Alton of Liverpool, House of Lords, London SW1A OPW. Tel: 020 7219 3551 </li></ul><ul><li>Mr Keith Bennett - secretariat </li></ul><ul><li>DATE OF GROUP'S LAST REGISTERED ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 14 October 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>CATEGORY OF GROUP On Approved List; All-Party Parliamentary Country Group affiliated to IPU. </li></ul>
  24. 24.   <ul><li>      </li></ul>
  25. 25. North Korea - What We Do Not Know and Why the Silence? <ul><li>MEDIA ACTION - Examples </li></ul><ul><li>Create documentaries YODOK Stories (Rafto Foundation, Piraya Films Norway) www.yodokstories.com </li></ul><ul><li>Radio/TV programs </li></ul><ul><li>Free North Korea Radio , won 2009 Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award - provides independent source of news and information to the people of North KoreaFree North Korea Radio.:  WWW.UNIFYKOREA2009.COM </li></ul>
  26. 26. North Korea - What We Do Not Know and Why the Silence? <ul><li>WORKING with HUMANITARIAN AGENCIES + JOURNALISTS! </li></ul><ul><li>NGO’s working on North Korean issues. </li></ul><ul><li>Human Rights Without Frontiers (Brussels), Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, University peace departments, Reporters Without Borders, your local reporters, NGO’s, student groups, faith-based agencies, etc. </li></ul>
  27. 27. North Korea - What We Do Not Know and Why the Silence? <ul><li>DEMONSTRATING PEACEFULLY+ ATTENDING EVENTS </li></ul><ul><li>North Korea Freedom Week and other gatherings at Parliaments </li></ul><ul><li>Professional seminars/conferences on North Korean issues. </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching students in schools. </li></ul><ul><li>Create awareness in local Korean communities, NGO’s and in church settings </li></ul>
  28. 28. Sources of Information – Partial List - and Thank You’s to: <ul><li>Suzanne Scholte Dr. Norbert Vollertsen, Tim Peters, Douglas Shin, Shin Sang Ok+Choi Eun Hee, William Fautre (Human Rights Without Frontiers) YODOK Stories documentary crew (Rafto Foundation, Piraya Films), Simon Warner, Members of Parliament, other ‘helpers’, and the defectors I met in South Korea </li></ul><ul><li>Many Thanks to Their Wonderful Courage and the Will to Live </li></ul><ul><li>Betsy Kawamura [email_address] , +44 07752 411458 </li></ul>
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