The 12th International Conference on North Korean Human Rights & Refugees

The 12th International Conference on North

Korean Human Rights Refugees

Organizer(s) : Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights (NKHR), ROK Union der Opferverbande kommunistischer Gewaltherrschaft (UOKG), Germany
Sponsor : The Chosun Ilbo, ROK Ministry of Unification
Day and Time : June 17th and 18th, 2013
Venue : Berlin, Germany



NKHR’s annual international conference focuses on the human rightsconditions in North Korea and the problems of North Korean refugees, andinvolves the cooperation of individual advocates, NGOs, media and diplomatsworldwide. Since 1999, the conference has been held on a large scale, and hasfocused on drawing wide attention from both the international and domesticcommunity. From the 1st International Conference on North KoreanHuman Rights Refugees held in 1999 in Seoul to the 11thconference in Geneva in 2011, NKHR has held international conferences in Japan,the Czech Republic, Poland, Norway, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada andSwitzerland.


The Conference’s original approach was tobuild awareness and promote advocacy. The previous Conferences created networksof NGOs that jointly started lobbying in favour of the UN resolution on humanrights in the DPRK since 2003.The conferences in Australia and Canada resultedin greater engagement of parliament members who advocated for special measuresof protection for North Korean refugees with their respective governments. In addition, peaceful street campaigns, movie screenings on NorthKorean human rights issues, and various cultural performances that took placebefore the conference drew great attention from ordinary citizens in the hostcountry.


As a result of these activities, a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) intothe human rights situation in North Korea was established on March 21, 2013 bythe 22nd session of the UN Human Rights Council.  


As the European Union has considerable influence on North Korea, it isurgent for them to play a role in helping North Korea realize the need toimprove their human rights situation. An international conference in Germany,especially, will be useful in preparing for unification on the Koreanpeninsula, as we may be able to learn from Germany’s past experiences.  


Yours sincerely,



Benjamin Yoon                                           RainerWagner

Founder Chairman                                            Chairman

Citizens’ Alliance for                                             Union derOpferverbande

North Korean Human Rights                 Kommunistischer Gewaltherrschaft 






Language of proceedings: German/English/Korean


Monday, 17 June 2013


19:00– 22:00            "Crossing"(2008), Directed by Tae-Gyun KIM (ROK)

                           Kino Babylon, Rosa Luxemburg Str. 30, 10187 Berlin


Tuesday, 18 June 2013


09:00               Registration


09:30 – 10:30        OpeningSession


Jae-chun WON, Faculty of Law, Handong GlobalUniversity, ROK



Rainer Wagner, Chairman, UOKG, Germany



JoachimGauck, President of Germany



Dr. AnnaKaminsky, Chief Executive, Bundesstiftung Aufarbeitung



JornRohde, Head of the East Asia Division, Foreign Ministry Berlin 


10:30 – 12:15         Session 1: TheControl of Minds – The System of Surveillance 


Chair:Martin Lessenthin, Chairman, International Society for Human Rights 


Documentary(20 minutes)


North Korean Situation:

NorthKorean Caste Structure and the System of Surveillance and Punishment: In aPerspective of Human Rights and Socio-political Change
Man-ho HEO, Professor, Kyungpook National University, ROK


Womenin Political Prison Camps in North Korea

Hye-sook KIM, Survivor of a N. Korean PoliticalPrison Camp, ROK 

German Angle:

STASI and the Systemof Surveillance 

Dr. Hubertus Knabe, Director,Berlin-Hohenschonhausen   Memorial


PoliticalPrisoners in East Germany

Siegmar Faust,Author and Survivor of an East Germany Political PrisonCamp, Germany




12:15 –13:30         Lunch



13:30 – 15:00                    Session 2: Question of Refoulement 


Chair: Suk-wooKIM, Former Vice-minister of Unification, ROK


NorthKorean Situation: 

Testimonyof Refoulement Victim
Myung-sook LEE, Victim of refoulement, ROK


Failureof Protection: Case of North Korean Refugees    

Jae-chun WON, Faculty of Law,Handong Global University, ROK

German Angle:  

Vera Lengsfeld, Former MP, Germany


                           Discussionand QA


15:00– 15:15          CoffeeBreak

15:15–17:15 Session3: German Implications for the Korean Peninsula: Lessons in differences

Chair:Rainer Wagner, Chairman, UOKG


South Korean Situation:

                           Resettlementand Support for North Korean Re-settlers in South Korea

                           Yoon-SookPARK, Professor, World Cyber University, ROK


The International Community’sApproach to Human Rights Violations in North Korea: Present and Future

                           JulieDe Rivera, Director, Human Rights Watch Geneva Office


German Angle:

Prisoners’ Redemption inGermany as a Model for Korea?

Dr. Elke-Ursel Hammer,Federal Archives, Germany


Beforeand after ‘Die Wende’: West Germany’s approach to East Germany’s Human RightsViolations

Prof.Dr. Manfred Wilke, Sociologist andresearch associate of the     LudwigBoltzmann Institute for the research of the consequences of the war,Germany


The System of Support for the Victims of EastGerman Regime

StephanHilsberg, Former MP and Founding Member of Social Democratic Party, Germany




17:15–17:30          Closing Remarks

Suk-woo KIM, FormerVice-minister of Unification, ROK