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10th Int'l Conference in Toronto, Canada
hit : 2034    (2010-08-18)



Citizens' Alliance for North Korean Human Rights (Founder & Chairman Benjamin H. Yoon) and HanVoice (Representative Randal Baran-Chong) will jointly host the 10th International Conference on North Korean Human Rights & Refugees in Toronto, Canada from August 21 - 22, 2010. Since its inception in 1999, the conference has since been held annually around the world. Previous locations include Korea, Japan, Czech Republic, Poland, Norway, UK and Australia. Since its beginning, the conference has helped to bring international awareness to the violations of human rights in North Korea and the plight of North Korean refugees. It has been a major force behind initiatives undertaken by various governments and UN bodies in addressing such issues.


Benjamin H. Yoon, Founder & Chairman, Citizens' Alliance for North Korean Human Rights: "The Korean ethnic community around the world will play an important role in the future."


The Founder & Chairman of the Citizens' Alliance for North Korean Human Rights, Mr. Benjamin H. Yoon said that "Canada is not only one of the model countries for the protection of human rights, but has also played a major role in the resettlement protection system of refugees and migrants. There are more than 100 North Korean refugees that have settled there as well."


He also stressed that "HanVoice, a Korean community-based Canadian organization has played a role in shaping policies for the resettlement of North Koreans in Canada. In the future the 2nd and 3rd generation of Koreans living in various countries around the world will increasingly play a major role in driving future movements advocating for North Korean human rights and the resettlement of North Korean refugees in their respective states."


Randal Baran-Chong, Representative of HanVoice: "Don't read history, be a part of it."


Randal Baran-Chong, Representative of HanVoice, co-organizer of the present Conference said that "Representatives of Canadian government and politicians, media, NGOs and young people are showing big interest in the upcoming Conference." The organization made also a trailer for YouTube, Twitter and other sites spreading the information about the Conference under the slogan "Don't read history, be a part of it." Registration is available through the HanVoice websites:(http://hanvoice.org/en) and (http://www.nkconference.org).




August 19, Street Campaign and Concert

August 20, Press Conference and Screening of Documentary Films


On the 19th, volunteers and university students will hold street campaigns in Yonge-Dundas Square in the morning followed by evening concerts featuring Clara C - Kollaboration LA 2010 Winner, Esly, Samulnori, Sun & Others. On the morning of the 20th, a Press Conference for the media will take place at Hart House at the University of Toronto. In the afternoon, there will be a screening of "Red Chapel (Det Rode Kapel, 2009)," winner of the Sundance Film Festival directed by Mads Brügger and "Kimjongilia (2009)" directed by N.C. Heiken followed by a Q&A session.


August 21, Opening of the International Conference


The first session entitled "Human Rights in North Korea: Obstacle & Opportunity" will be led by editor of the famous CanKor Report, Erich Weingartner and will feature Professor Man-ho Heo from Kyungpook National University covering topics on the existing State of Terror in the country, Kongdan Oh from the Institute of Defense Analysis, USA discussing the years of changes in the perception of the North Korean people, finally followed by a testimony from a North Korean defector who arrived in South Korea in 2008 after having worked as a former officer in the Ministry of People's Safety in North Korea.


The second session, "Experience of North Korean Refugees in Transit and Asylum Countries" will be moderated by Dr. Sun-Young Park, Spokesperson for the Liberty Forward Party in Korea and will feature Roberta Cohen from the Brookings Institution ("Legal Grounds for Protection of North Korean Refugees"), Professor Won-Woong Lee from Kwandong University ("Humans for Sale: Situation of Trafficked North Korean Women") and Kay Seok from Human Rights Watch ("A Long Way to Acceptance: the Children of North Korean Women in China"). The session will be followed by the testimony of a North Korean woman and discussions on resettlement and integration of North Korean refugees among representatives from USA, Japan and South Korea.


The third session on "Strategies for the Improvement of Human Rights in North Korea and Protection of Refugees" will be led by a member of the Canadian Parliament, Hon. Barry Davolin and will feature NGO activists, Think Tank and Film Director who will share their ideas on how to maintain the international community's commitment towards the North Korean human rights issue.


August 22, Unofficial Meeting: Action Plan & Strategy Round Table


In the presence of the Canadian Parliament, government representatives from the ROK, Canada, and Japan together with various NGOs, think tanks and specialists from various countries will join in this unofficial meeting to address the need for constructive engagement with North Korea to improve its human rights record as well as assess various Migration Acts and North Korean Human Rights Acts. Discussions will include exchanges on the best models for the protection and integration of North Korean refugees.


High Profile Speakers from Canadian Government


On behalf of the Canadian government, Mr. Deepak Obhrai, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada will deliver the keynote speech. Congratulatory speeches are also sent by Michaëlle Jean (Governor General of Canada), Hon. Jason Kenny (Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism), and Dalton McGuinty (Premier of Ontario, Canada). Among those in attendance include Irwin Cotler, former Canada's Minister of Justice; Barry Devolin, a Member of Parliament Canada and also dedicated advocate for North Korean human rights issues in the Canadian Parliament; and Masaharu Nakagawa, Senior Vice Minister of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Technology in Japan (Member of the House of Representatives).