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White Paper on Human Rights in North Korea, 2014

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Author Han, Dong-hoKim, Soo-AmLee,Kyu-ChangLee, Keum-soonCho, Jeong-Ah
Publish Date / Page 2014 / 549 p. :
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General Characteristics of North Korean Human Rights in 2013

Executive Summary



Chapter Ⅰ The Purpose of Publication and Research Methods

1 The Purpose of Publication

2 Research Methods



Chapter Ⅱ International Human Rights Standards and Human Rights in North Korea

1 International Human Rights Standards

2 North Korean Laws on Human Rights



Chapter Ⅲ The Reality of Civil and Political Rights

1 The Right to Life

2 The Right to Liberty and Security of Person

3 The Right to Due Process of the Law

4 The Right to Equality

5 Freedom of Residence, Movement and Travel

6 Freedom of Religion and Conscience

7 Freedom of Speech, the Press, Assembly and Association

8 The Right of Political Participation



Chapter Ⅳ The Reality of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

1 The Right to Food

2 The Right to Health

3 The Right to Work

4 The Right to Education



Chapter Ⅴ The Reality of Human Rights of Vulnerable Groups

1 Women

2 Children

3 Persons with Disabilities



Chapter Ⅵ North Korean Escapees and Other Humanitarian Issues

1 North Korean Escapees

2 Separated Families

3 The Abductees

4 Korean War POWs
Purpose of Publication and Research Methods

In order for the international community to bring about effective results in North Korea’s human rights situation, it is important to collect accurate facts, provide objective descriptions, and produce solid analyses on North Korean human rights. For that purpose, the Korea Institute for National Unification (KINU) opened the Center for North Korean Human Rights, in December of 1994, to collect and manage professionally and systematically all source materials and objective data concerning North Korean human rights; and from 1996, KINU has been publishing every year the ‘White Paper on Human Rights in North Korea’ in Korean and in English. The “White Paper on Human Rights in North Korea 2014” consists of several chapters; including International Human Rights Standards and North Korean Human Rights, the human rights situation of North Korean citizens in the areas of Civil and Political Rights as well as Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the reality of human rights of vulnerable groups of citizens, and escapees and other humanitarian issues.

Each chapter of this White Paper will first present relevant international human rights standards, then review North Korea’s municipal laws, and then carefully analyze the reality of human rights situation in North Korea. Since it is unfeasible to visit North Korea to investigate human rights realities and cooperation of any type is impossible with any human rights organizations in North Korea, KINU has decided to come to grips with North Korea’s human rights situation through in-depth personal interviews with North Korean escapees who came to South Korea. The White Paper on Human Rights in North Korea 2014 reflects, among other things, the results of in-depth personal interviews with 237 North Korean escapees who came to South Korea during the year 2013. These samples were selected out of all escapees in 2013, based on initial questionnaires and on meaningful demographic features and social background (such as location of their residence, time of defection, experiences in detention facilities, etc.). The in-depth interviews were conducted over a two-hour period, in which the interviewees were asked to fill out professionally developed questionnaires focused on various individual rights we discuss throughout the White Paper.

KINU has assigned our unique testifier ID numbers (ex. NKHR 2013000000) to each and every person (escapee) who participated in our interviews, so that we may manage the data more systematically, and to protect the personal information of the testifier in case his/her testimony is quoted in the White Paper. The KINU staff has also consulted published North Korean books, documents, and other sources, as well as official UN reports and other human rights publications in and outside of Korea. We have also relied on a variety of comparative analysis and verification techniques to approach as closely as possible to the human rights reality on the ground despite inherent restrictions and limitations of information on North Korea.