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In anticipation of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, A Human Rights-based Approach to the SDGs in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was written by the Working Group for Human Rights and SDGs in North Korea, a coalition of five Seoul-based civil society organizations (CSOs) and one academic research institute, dedicated to promoting human rights in North Korea by conducting human rights research and raising international awareness. The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) provided technical and coordination support to the working group to prepare for the joint spotlight report. The views expressed in this publication are those of the organizations that authored their individual contributions and do not necessarily represent the views of NDI.

The organizations responsible for writing each chapter of the spotlight report are as follows:

17 SDGs and North Korea
Database Center for North Korean Human Rights (NKDB)
Point of Contact: Hanna Song,

The Database Center for North Korean Human Rights (NKDB) is a non-political, non-religious, non-profit, non-governmental organization that was established in 2003 in Seoul, South Korea. Since its establishment, the organization has dedicated its work primarily on the investigation and documentation
of human rights abuses perpetrated in the DPRK against the North Korean people. The information collected by NKDB’s researchers is stored in NKDB’s Unified Human Rights Database, which as of June 2020 contains 78,798 cases of violations and information about 48,822 individuals related to them
(victims, perpetrators, witnesses, etc.) NKDB works towards the improvement of North Korean human rights through a variety of ways including data collection and analysis, monitoring, resettlement support, psychological counseling, as well as advocacy efforts to raise international awareness of the human
rights situation in North Korea.

Vulnerable Groups: Children
People for Successful COrean REunification (PSCORE)
Point of Contact: Bada Nam,
PSCORE’s ultimate mission is to ensure the successful, secure, and sustainable reunification of the Korean Peninsula through inter-lateral cooperation and well-structured policies. PSCORE aims to empower North Korean refugees through our education programs and provide the necessary tools for them to become self-sufficient in their new societies. Since its founding in 2006, PSCORE has been an active and outspoken advocate for the promotion of human rights in North Korea. Since 2012, it has held special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Vulnerable Groups: Women
Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights (NKHR)
Point of Contact: Jiyoon Lee,
Founded in Seoul in 1996, NKHR is the world’s first and oldest NGO devoted fully to the advancement of human rights in North Korea. NKHR has played a significant role in making the North Korean human rights issue known internationally by organizing international conferences worldwide partnering with
media, filmmakers, artists, and authors to spread awareness about human rights violations in North Korea and establishing an international network of NGO to influence government policymakers and the United Nations.

Vulnerable Groups: Persons with Disabilities
Handong International Law Centre (HILC)
Point of Contact: Jae-chun Won,
HILC is an academic research institute based in the Republic of Korea. HILC has been conducting human rights and development research with particular emphasis on vulnerable groups (women, children and persons with disabilities) in order to promote human rights, democracy and rule of law in
accordance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. HILC strives to bring justice and dignity for all.

Building a Peaceful and Inclusive Society for Sustainable Development by Ending Exploitation and Corruption
Open North Korea (ONK)
Point of Contact: Eunkyoung Kwon,
ONK is the secretariat of ICNK (International Coalition to Stop Crimes against Humanity in
North Korea), which was established in 2011. ONK led the ICNK activities which contributed to the
establishment of the UN Commission of Inquiry on the human rights situation in the DPRK in March
2013, up until the COI was formally established. Since then, ONK has worked for the implementation of
various recommendations made by the COI, targeting the UN and other stakeholders. Its major activities
include media outreach and advocacy targeting the UN relevant mechanisms and relevant states with
diplomatic relations with North Korea.

Unification Academy (UA)
Point of Contact: Shinsam Kang,
UA was established to create an innovative space for active exchange of ideas on unification in the
Korean Peninsula. UA works towards developing a creative education system that fosters social
consensus on unification and improvement of human rights in North Korea. As a member of the
International Coalition to Stop Crimes against North Korea (ICNK), UA has utilized the worldwide network
of ICNK, and cooperates with Korean NGOs working for humanitarian agendas and SDGs and North
Korean human rights organizations and creates innovative agendas about North Korea for research and

Find the full report below:

A Human Rights-based Approach to the SDGs in the DPRK