|The 7th International Conference on North Korean Human Rights & Refugees: Bergen, Norway|
The 7th International Conference
on North Korean Human Rights & Refugees: Bergen, Norway
For the past decade, the Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights has been working on raising global awareness and concern regarding the human rights situation in North Korea. This has been done through its international conferences on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees. The global campaigning has proven to be effective. This can be seen by the multiple UNHCR resolutions expressing serious concern at the human rights abuses in North Korea, which have led to the appointment of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Another example of the effective campaigning is the adoption of the North Korea human rights resolution by the UNB General Assembly in 2005.
Given this affirmative recognition of the North Korean human rights abuses from the international community, it is now time to gather international perspectives on how to improve the North Korean human rights situation. It is time to encourage innovative dialogue by engaging professionals and organizations from the different fields of science, media, trade, the arts, and sports.
Bringing in actors, like the above, who are not primarily engaged in human rights, safeguards broader perspective, which in turn can open doors and build bridges to finding comprehensive and sustainable solutions to the challenges ahead. The Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights and the Rafto Human Rights House will host the 7th International Conference on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees in Bergen, Norway. The location functions as an ideal environment, mainly due to the Norwegian experience of international peacekeeping. In addition, by arranging the conference in a Northern European country, we hope to bring in a different Western perspective? With roots in the Nordic tradition,
The conference will take place on May 9-11, 2006. In addition to the customary speaker-audience interaction, participants will be given opportunities to express different views regarding a broad range of approaches to the North Korean human rights issue. Moreover, part of the sessions will involve international journalists, made possible by the conference’s overlap with the4 annual Nordic Media Festival.
We hope that the diverse participation from a wide range of fields will create a political framework similar to that of the past Helsinki process, which not only enhances dialogue between different views, but also links human rights issues to international security, humanitarian aid, and economic development.
We anticipate that this conference will ignite new dialogues and approaches to developing effective strategies in improving the human rights situation in North Korea. We warmly invite you to take part in transforming ideas into action by participating in our conference.
Benjamin H. Yoon Jan Ramstad
Citizens’ Alliance for Rafto Human Rights House
North Korean Human Rights