This speech was delivered by the North Korean refugee, Yeonmi Park, at the One Young World 2014 Summit which was held in Dublin, Ireland. As you already know, human rights situation in North Korea is very poor. In the video, Yeonmi mentiones three ways to help North Korean refugees. I would like to make a small elaboration on these.
- Educate yourself so you can raise awareness about the human rights crisis in North Korea. In fact, because North Korea is extremely closed country, it is difficult to get reliable information about North Korea. For example, in Facebook, we can easily see some entertainment oriented information, like ’10 Shocking facts about North Korea’. However, that information is often unascertainable or unreliable. It is true that North Korean regime should be blamed for being oppressive and neglecting human dignity and rights of its citizens but that does not mean that all bad stories we may read about North Korea are true. Sharing false information allows the propagandists to discredit also truthful critique as non-reliable. So we need to be careful to share credible information.
- Help and support North Korean refugees who are trying to escape to freedom. There are activists who help North Korean refugees. Find them and ask, how you could help. Any kind of support is of great value for them.
- Petition for China to stop repatriation. I think this one is the most important and useful advices given on North-Korea. It is obvious that if China sends the refugees to North Korea, they will not be treated as they should be according international human rights law. Everyone has the freedom of movement and to a safe haven, if that is not possible in their home country. Considering the actual seriousness of the situation of North-Korean refugees and threats to their life and health when sent back to North Korea, China can in no way justify its acts of repatriation, even if there is a law allowing that in force in China.
As a Korean, I am really sorry about the situation in North Korea and I hope they would become free from the oppressive regime.