Conference & Seminar Materials

The 12th International Conference on North Korean Human Rights & Refugees
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2016-06-09 10:43:54
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The 12th International Conference on North
Korean Human Rights & Refugees

Organizer(s) : Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights (NKHR), ROK Union der Opferverbande kommunistischer Gewaltherrschaft (UOKG), Germany
Sponsor : The Chosun Ilbo, ROK Ministry of Unification
Day and Time : June 17th and 18th, 2013
Venue : Berlin, Germany



NKHR’s annual international conference focuses on the human rights conditions in North Korea and the problems of North Korean refugees, and involves the cooperation of individual advocates, NGOs, media and diplomats worldwide. Since 1999, the conference has been held on a large scale, and has focused on drawing wide attention from both the international and domestic community. From the 1st International Conference on North Korean Human Rights & Refugees held in 1999 in Seoul to the 11th conference in Geneva in 2011, NKHR has held international conferences in Japan, the Czech Republic, Poland, Norway, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Switzerland.


The Conference’s original approach was to build awareness and promote advocacy. The previous Conferences created networks of NGOs that jointly started lobbying in favour of the UN resolution on human rights in the DPRK since 2003.The conferences in Australia and Canada resulted in greater engagement of parliament members who advocated for special measures of protection for North Korean refugees with their respective governments. In addition, peaceful street campaigns, movie screenings on North Korean human rights issues, and various cultural performances that took place before the conference drew great attention from ordinary citizens in the host country.


As a result of these activities, a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the human rights situation in North Korea was established on March 21, 2013 by the 22nd session of the UN Human Rights Council.  


As the European Union has considerable influence on North Korea, it is urgent for them to play a role in helping North Korea realize the need to improve their human rights situation. An international conference in Germany, especially, will be useful in preparing for unification on the Korean peninsula, as we may be able to learn from Germany’s past experiences.  


Yours sincerely,



Benjamin Yoon                                           Rainer Wagner

Founder &Chairman                                            Chairman

Citizens’ Alliance for                                             Union derOpferverbande

North Korean Human Rights                 Kommunistischer Gewaltherrschaft 






Language of proceedings: German/English/Korean


Monday, 17 June 2013


19:00– 22:00            "Crossing" (2008), Directed by Tae-Gyun KIM (ROK)

                           Kino Babylon, Rosa Luxemburg Str. 30, 10187 Berlin


Tuesday, 18 June 2013


09:00               Registration


09:30 – 10:30        Opening Session

Conference Moderator:

Jae-chun WON, Faculty of Law, Handong Global University, ROK


Welcome Address

Rainer Wagner, Chairman, UOKG, Germany


Congratulatory Speech

Joachim Gauck, President of Germany


Congratulatory Speech

Dr. Anna Kaminsky, Chief Executive, Bundesstiftung Aufarbeitung


Keynote Speech

Jorn Rohde, Head of the East Asia Division, Foreign Ministry Berlin 


10:30 – 12:15         Session 1: The Control of Minds – The System of Surveillance 


Chair: Martin Lessenthin, Chairman, International Society for Human Rights 


Documentary (20 minutes)


North Korean Situation:

North Korean Caste Structure and the System of Surveillance and Punishment: In a Perspective of Human Rights and Socio-political Change
Man-ho HEO, Professor, Kyungpook National University, ROK


Women in Political Prison Camps in North Korea

Hye-sook KIM, Survivor of a N. Korean Political Prison Camp, ROK 

German Angle:

STASI and the System of Surveillance 

Dr. Hubertus Knabe, Director, Berlin-Hohenschonhausen   Memorial


Political Prisoners in East Germany

Siegmar Faust, Author and Survivor of an East Germany Political Prison Camp, Germany


Q & A


12:15 –13:30          Lunch



13:30 – 15:00                    Session 2: Question of Refoulement 


Chair: Suk-woo KIM, Former Vice-minister of Unification, ROK


North Korean Situation: 

Testimony of Refoulement Victim
Myung-sook LEE, Victim of refoulement, ROK


Failure of Protection: Case of North Korean Refugees    

Jae-chun WON, Faculty of Law, Handong Global University, ROK

German Angle:  

Vera Lengsfeld, Former MP, Germany


                           Discussion and Q&A


15:00– 15:15          Coffee Break

15:15– 17:15 Session 3: German Implications for the Korean Peninsula: Lessons in differences

Chair: Rainer Wagner, Chairman, UOKG


South Korean Situation:

                           Resettlement and Support for North Korean Re-settlers in South Korea

                           Yoon-Sook PARK, Professor, World Cyber University, ROK


The International Community’s Approach to Human Rights Violations in North Korea: Present and Future

                           Julie De Rivera, Director, Human Rights Watch Geneva Office


German Angle:

Prisoners’ Redemption in Germany as a Model for Korea?

Dr. Elke-Ursel Hammer, Federal Archives, Germany


Before and after ‘Die Wende’: West Germany’s approach to East Germany’s Human Rights Violations

Prof. Dr. Manfred Wilke, Sociologist and research associate of the     Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for the research of the consequences of the war, Germany


The System of Support for the Victims of East German Regime

Stephan Hilsberg, Former MP and Founding Member of Social Democratic Party, Germany




17:15– 17:30          Closing Remarks

Suk-woo KIM, Former Vice-minister of Unification, ROK