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NHRCK recommended to the Minister of Unification for provision of enhanced human rights education for North Korean defectors

  • 2018-10-29
  • 1458

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The National Human Rights Commission of Korea recommended to the Minister of Unification to strengthen human rights education program and devise educational material for the North Korean defectors including introducing cases of human rights violations and discrimination, international human rights standards and basic human rights. It also recommended to the Hana Center to create a new human rights program for the North Korean defectors.

The 2016 survey on human rights awareness of North Korean defectors showed that most of them have had low understanding on human rights when residing in North Korea, and they felt that they were subjected to human rights violation and discrimination during the process of leaving North Korea and entering South Korea.

In the survey, 82.1% of 480 North Korean defectors answered that they have had received no education on human rights, and 74.4% said that they have not heard the term “human rights” in North Korea.

There were cases where brokers exploited female North Korean defectors by making them work in adult entertainment industry or forcing them to marry Chinese men. One female North Korean defector who was married to a Chinese man stated that she was under continuous surveillance by her husband and threat by the Chinese police.

After entering South Korea, 45.5% answered they were discriminated because they were from North Korea, 25.7% stated discrimination on academic career and 24.2% on non-regular jobs. However, most of them failed to properly respond to such discriminations.

They have had received education at Hana-won and Hana center, but only 43.8% answered that they have had received human rights education, showing lack of effectiveness of education.

In this regard, the NHRCK concluded that there is a need for awareness raising on human rights of North Korean defectors to help them consider themselves as human rights holders and actively respond to discrimination. To this end, educational program provided by the Hana-won and Hana center has to be strengthened.

The NHRCK hopes that this recommendation contribute to enhancing human rights awareness of the North Korean defectors to recognize themselves as rights holders and smoothly settle down in the Korean society.

 

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