2008 North Korean Human Rights Campaign

[imText1]The 2008 North Korean Human Rights Campaign is to be held by domestic and international North Korean human rights organizations in Seoul from September 23rd to 25th, under the title “Compassion for North Korean Orphans.”

The North Korean Human Rights Campaign 2008 Organizing Committee held a press conference on the 2nd, announcing several events to urge people to take an interest in North Korean orphans in China, and to make appeals for aid.

Commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this year, “Compassion for North Korean Orphans” is being held by the Network for North Korean Democracy and Human Rights (NKnet), Open Radio for North Korea, Citizen’s coalition for human rights of abductees and North Korean refugees, North Korean human rights subcommittee of the Korean Bar Association, Committee for Democratization of North Korea, Life Funds for North Korean Refugees based in Tokyo, Reporters Without Borders, US Committee for North Korean Human Rights and Human Rights Without Frontiers.

The main event schedule is as follows; ▲ Seminar on the North Korean Human Rights Act (September 23); ▲ Memorial Service (September 23, Peace Park, Gyeonggi Province); ▲ Experts Workshop (September 25); ▲ Concert, “Compassion for North Korean Orphans” (September 25, Seoul Square); ▲ International Conference (September 25, at the Seoul Press Center).

Additionally, there is to be a human rights photo, drawings and books exhibition, a charity concert for North Korean orphans in China, and other performances.

During this campaign period, diverse efforts to advance the North Korean people’s human rights will be floated and discussed by domestic and international experts.

At the experts workshop on the 25th there are to be lectures and discussions on “What to do about North Korean political prison camps,” “Measures and perspectives on expanding freedom of information,” and “How to prepare for post-Kim Jong Il North Korea?”

“Protecting the human rights of minorities in North Korea,” “Food aid and human rights,” and “Practical approaches to improve human rights in North Korea” are going to be discussed at the International Conference on the 26th.

The Network for North Korean Democracy and Human Rights’ Chairman Yoo Se Hee, KAIST Professor Lee Ihn Ho, former Vice-Minister of Unification Kim Seok Woo are the co-chairpersons of the campaign organization, while President of NKnet Han Ki Hong and Kang Cheol Hwan, Vice-President of the Committee for the Democratization of North Korea, are the co-representatives of the campaign organizing committee.

Willy Fautre (Human Rights without Frontiers, President), Vincent Brossel (Reporters without Borders), Hiroshi Kato (Life Funds for North Korean Refugees), David Hawk (human rights investigator and advocate, and the author of “the Hidden Gulag”) and Chuck Downs (US Committee for NK HR) will speak at the international conference.

President Han of NKnet said of the campaign, “As of now, domestic human rights organizations have been independently working for North Korean human rights issues in Korea, but through this campaign we hope that the network between domestic and international organizations will be reinforced. Additionally, aid will be generated and at the same time interest in North Korean human rights in our society will be raised.”