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Since 1999, the Citizens Alliance for North Korean Human Rights has organized the International Conference on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees across the continents in Seoul, Tokyo, Prague, Warsaw, Bergen and London.

Proudly holding the first NGO-organized international conference in 1999 with an objective of informing the international community about the situation of human rights in North Korea, the international conference has distinctively developed over the years into a policy formation platform to engage more citizens from different countries, government officials, and international organization representatives.
 
 
History of the Past Conferences
Year Date Venue Co-organizers
1999 December 1~3 Seoul, Korea Chosun Ilbo
2000 December 8 Seoul, Korea Ewha Legal Science Institute
2002 February 9, 10 Tokyo, Japan Working Committee in Japan
2003 March 2 Prague,Czech Republic People in Need Foundation
2004 February 29~March 2 Warsaw, Poland Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights
2005 February 14~16 Seoul, Korea Korean Society for Human Rights Law, Yonsei GSIS, Handong International Law School, Sogang GSIS, Korea GSIS, Ewha GSIS and Sookmyung GSIS
2006 May 9~11 Bergen, Norway Norway Rafto Human Rights House
2008 January 22, 23 London, United Kingdom Chatham House
2009 March 20,21 Melbourne, Australia The Australian Committee for Human Rights in North Korea
2010 August 19 ~ 22 Toronto, Canada HanVoice
 
The initial purpose of the International Conference on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees is still intact. It is never enough to publicize and inform the international community with facts and descriptions of the situation of human rights in North Korea, and of the vulnerability of North Korean refugees in third countries. Not only do various sectors in civil society need to act and get involved: the voicing of widespread concerns on the part of state actors and international organizations is also critical in ensuring that human rights in North Korea are fully respected and guaranteed.
The International Conference on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees thus provides an arena that gathers actors with diverse information and opinions to share and to participate in this movement. Here, plans of action for non-governmental organizations and policy recommendations for state actors engaging with North Korea may be designed with the aim of improving the situation in North Korea as well as protection for North Korean refugees. .

Participation is wide open to all experts, academics, journalists, human rights/humanitarian organizations, activists, artists, government and international organization representatives and the general public concerned with the grave standards of human rights in North Korea. Citizens Alliance for North Korean Human Rights professes that our arena also has doors open for representatives from North Korea as well. NKHR believes that human rights should rightly be an agenda for engagement and a dialogue with the North Korean authorities.

New Approaches: North Korea
Following our plan of action, the situation has been internationally publicized and is under the scrutiny of the international community at the United Nations level. A step forward into a new phase with regards to the changing international environment, surrounding the relations with North Korea, is our New Approaches: North Korea conference which was initiated in 2006. The meeting put an emphasis on the various opinions to engage North Koreans. Culture, art, and sports; the rights-based approach for humanitarian assistance; human rights advocacy and humanitarian aid; as well as the emphasis on interrelatedness of civil political rights and economic, social and cultural rights were included as a medium to find a practical and balanced ways. With just a few mentioned in the list, NKHR genuinely seeks feasible ways and solutions to bring better conditions for the people of North Korea and the respect for human rights in this corner of the world.

One of our main focuses is on multilateral cooperation under the framework of regional security, peace-building mechanisms and economic development. The international conference purports to be a multilateral human rights dialogue platform for cooperation with comprehensive and constructive, but also critical, engagement with the North Koreans. NKHR would like to see changes in the policies and implementations of human rights protection and promotion in North Korea, whilst remaining critical of this appalling situation and the existence of political prison camps, where egregious human rights violations are still rampant.



In line with the change in the international environment, NKHR calls for North Korea to become a responsible and normal member of the international community by abiding by the various international obligations to which they are also a party. The human rights question of North Korea is a critical priority in ameliorating inter-Korean relations and the future of the peninsula as well as the peace and stability of this region.

We engage many different actors and seek for partnership as co-organizers and sponsors. Please follow and support our international conference on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees with keen interest and active participation.

 
For more inquiries please contact Intl Campaign & Cooperation Team at nkhr@naver.com