|North Korean Human Rights Workshop for High School Students|
The 7th Youth Workshop, hosted by NKHR, was held at the International Youth Center from July 28th to July 30st. A total of 49 high school students from across ROK attended the workshop. The workshop began with an opening address delivered by Chairman Bum-jin Park of NKHR. The students were divided into eight different groups with a teaching assistant per group.
On the first day, three lectures were given by professors and activists on the general perception of human rights and on a variety of issues related to North Korean human rights. Professor Won-woong Lee from Catholic Kwandong University explained the concept of human rights and specifically North Korean human rights. The second lecture was given by an activist who discussed the life of North Korean refugees and the escape routes taken by North Korean defectors. The third lecture was followed by Joon Oh, a former ambassador to the UN and a professor at Kyung Hee University. He talked about the role of the UN in improving the human rights situation in North Korea.
Many students actively participated in the Q&A sessions which followed each lecture. For example, some were curious about the stance of the South Korean and Chinese governments on relevant human rights issues in North Korea, and some asked about the resettlement of these defectors in South Korea. In addition, one group shared its thoughts on the effectiveness of South Korean propaganda broadcasts to the North. In the afternoon, students had the opportunity to converse with North Korean defectors in small groups. Then each team, assigned a specific topic such as Kotjebi, disability rights, and political prison camps in North Korea, prepared for its campaign activity throughout the night.
The next morning, President Kwang-baek Lee of Daily NK gave a lecture on freedom of information and methods to promote North Korean human rights. In the afternoon, each team traveled to different regions of Seoul and campaigned for North Korean human rights in the streets. Afterwards, they watched the movie Crossing, and defector Hyuk Kim gave a short lecture on the meaning of the movie based on his own experience.
On the last day, the students gave a presentation on the result of their campaign activity. They also shared their experiences from the workshop. Lastly, the workshop wrapped up with students receiving a certificate of completion.
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