North Korea: civil society groups confront abysmal rights climate


The South Korean government should press the United States to discuss the appalling human rights situation in North Korea when US President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Human Rights Watch said today:

Some 40 organizations including Human Rights Watch, representing more than 200 nongovernment organizations from around the world, sent a letter to Moon asking him to urge Kim to act on United Nations human rights recommendations; engage on inter-Korean human rights issues, including human rights dialogues and information exchanges; push for the reunion of separated families; and increase inter-Korean people-to-people contact. The organizations also called on the South Korean government to provide North Korea much-needed humanitarian aid with appropriate monitoring.

“As Trump prepares to meet Kim Jong-un to discuss nuclear weapons, it’s important to remember that these weapons were built by people living in a totalitarian state that restricts all basic freedoms, runs a gulag with forced labor, and can’t meet the basic nutritional needs of its people,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

The National Endowment for Democracy has selected four South Korea-based North Korea human rights organizations for its annual Democracy Awards, UPI reports. The organization wants to “honor the North Korean human rights and democracy movement,” said NED’s Lynn Lee:

  • The Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights (NKHR) is the world’s first and oldest NGO devoted fully to the advancement of North Korean human rights. ….
  • Since 2010, Now Action & Unity for Human Rights (NAUH) has been working to improve human rights conditions in North Korea and achieve a unified Korean Peninsula. ….
  • The Seoul-based non-profit Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG) was founded in September 2014 to collect, document and visualize evidence of crimes against humanity in North Korea to support the ongoing effort to hold perpetrators accountable, and to bring victims’ needs and rights to mainstream awareness. …
  • Unification Media Group (UMG) is an independent multimedia consortium based in Seoul, comprising Daily NK, an internet periodical reporting on all aspects of NorthKorea; Radio Free Chosun, which broadcasts content targeting North Korean citizens; and Open North Korea Radio…..RTWT

The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) and No Chain cordially invite you to:

An Investigation into the Human Rights Situation in North Korea’s Political Prison Camps: Testimonies of Detainee Families

Presenter: JUNG GWANG-IL, Founder and President, No Chain. Discussants: OLIVIA ENOS, Policy Analyst, The Heritage Foundation; ROSA PARK, Director of Programs and Editor, HRNK. Moderator: GREG SCARLATOIU, Executive Director, HRNK. Interpreter:  HUIWON YUN, HRNK.

The event will be on the record. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018
2:00 p.m. 3:30 p.m.

National Press Club
Holeman Lounge
529 14th Street, NW, 13th Floor
Washington, DC 20045


Please email Rosa Park, HRNK Director of Programs, at with any questions or concerns.

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