On July 31, 2015 PSCORE hosted an event about a the date of a North Korean refugee repatriated four times. The event titled: Speaker’s Event: The Fate of a Woman who Repatriated Four Times was given the honor of having Ms. Jo Geum-Ok provide her testimony to the audience a glimpse of her life as a North Korean refugee who has been repatriated back to North Korea four times. Through her tough journey, she had to endure near death torture, human trafficking, rape, and desperation that drew her near suicide.
Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) grants the right to freedom of movement to all individuals inside and outside of a state. A North Korean refugee’s right to freedom of movement is violated each time that one is repatriated from China; a crime punishable by imprisonment in labor camps (gulags) and execution without the legal right to the due process of a trial. This makes the journey to escape China even more urgent. Each day that passes where North Korean refugee’s are involuntarily hiding increases the risk for them to be captured by Chinese officials.
An estimated 300,000 North Korean refugees are currently living in hiding in China. Although North Korean refugees are considered protected under the UN’s refugee convention, China’s forced repatriation laws place North Korean refugees in danger of being imprisoned to face execution if caught by Chinese police. Reaching freedom is becoming increasingly risky because the Chinese government’s crackdown on underground organizations that help North Korean refugees escape China.
What was most touching about this event was the amount of foreign attendance. The outcome was truly a testament of how the international community is being exposed more and more to the North Korean human rights issues and are sympathizing with the victims.
PSCORE would like to thank every one, especially other North Korea defectors, who came out to support this strong woman as she retells her tragic tale and all the donations that were given. In total we fundraised over 30% of expected amount through attendance, donations and merchandise!
Once again, PSCORE thanks all the guests for their support and attendance, making this one of PSCORE’s most successful speaker’s event this year!