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Protest to Urge Passage of the North Korean Human Rights Act
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2015-04-08 21:01:00
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The Beautiful March:  A Protest to Urge Passage of the North Korean Human Rights Act

The time is ripe for passage of the North Korean Human Rights Act in South Korea.  For nearly ten years, differences in political agendas have prevented South Korea’s two main political parties from passing a bill addressing North Korea’s human rights crisis.  But as the United Nations Commission of Inquiry prepares to release its report on North Korea’s human rights violations, and the international criticism of the regime strengthens, South Korea can no longer remain silent. Even the United States and Japan have spoken out by enacting their own North Korean Human Rights laws.

To urge the South Korean government to act, NKHR, along with other organizations, organized and participated in a three-day protest, the "Beautiful March to Pass the North Korean Human Rights Bill."  Over three days—February 12, 13, and 14—NKHR silently marched through central Seoul with signs calling for the passage of the North Korean Human Rights Act.  The march concluded on the third day in front of the National Assembly.

Over the three days, nearly 50 people marched to show their support of the people of North Korea.  Activists, students, citizens, and North Korean survivors all stood in solidarity.  Thanks to their efforts, NKHR is optimistic that the bill will pass this year.

The North Korean Human Rights Act has many facets, but in essence, it would establish the following: 

(1) A national archive to investigate human rights violations in North Korea, which would be instrumental in achieving transitional justice during reunification. 
(2) Humanitarian assistance to North Korea, including food aid, but conditioned on the North Korean government allowing transparent monitoring. 
(3) A mechanism to support organizations in South Korea that are dedicated to human rights in North Korea
(4) A platform for the South Korean government to work with its citizens toward advancing North Korean human rights. 

Perhaps most importantly, passage of the act would tell the world that South Korea takes North Korean human rights seriously.  The Beautiful March brought our community together to share that message with South Korean lawmakers.

Attach file#1 : Beautiful March photo.JPG