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Refugees from North Korea in the delegation visiting the Institute of National Remembrance – Warsaw, 7–13 August 2017

On 7-13 August President of the IPN Dr Jaroslaw Szarek is going to host a delegation from South Korea, representing the Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights (NKHR). Six students - members of the delegation - are resettling now in South Korea.

 

 

The Citizens' Alliance for North Korean Human Rights (NKHR) has been trying to help those Koreans from the Communist North who managed to escape their country (most often through China), often in dramatic circumstances. This essential help is not only material support, but raising global awareness about constant breaking of the basic rights of millions of Koreans under the communist regime, as well as education of South Korean society. As it turns out, part of the younger generation of democratic Koreans treats northerners as "alien". This makes it even more difficult for the refugees brought up in the conditions of totalitarian terror to integrate with the democratic society of the South. There are even cases of voluntary return of "displaced persons" to the North because they cannot cope with the life in democratic Korea. Intensive market economy courses or psychological support they are provided with are not enough.

The organisation has received several significant awards for its activity, including the John Diefenbaker Award instituted by the Canadian Government,  and Freedom Award, which is awarded by the International Emergency Committee since 1957 for "extraordinary contribution to the cause of refugees and human freedom."

The delegation is headed by Professor Jeachun Won, former prosecutor and human rights defender and Dr Joanna Hosaniak, Deputy Director General of NKHR and Adjunct Professor at Yonsei University.

The agenda includes a visit at the IPN Archive and sightseeing of the lot „Ł” at the Powązkowski Cemetery, Museum of Accursed Soldiers and Political Prisoners of the People’s Republic of Poland, Katyń Museum, and Warsaw Rising Museum. The Korean guests are also going to visit the former German extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau and the Ulma Family Museum of Poles Rescuing the Jews in Markowa. Sightseeing of Warsaw, Cracow and Łańcut is also planned. The guests are also having a meeting with President of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights.

NKHR is making efforts to create an international network of NGOs to effectively influence global decision makers and the UN to respond to the dramatic situation of North Koreans.

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