Conference on North Korean Human Rights & Refugees
Resolution-The 6th International Conference on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees
Sixth International Conference on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees - Seoul, South Korea,
We have gathered for the 6th International Conference on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees from the countries of France, Poland, Norway, Republic of Korea, Russia, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, as well as defectors from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, to affirm to the people of the world, especially to the people of the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea, that they are entitled to the same freedoms, democratic values and human rights enjoyed by free people everywhere and enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The regime of North Korea is among the worst violators of human rights in our time despite having obligated itself to protect human rights by becoming a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
In addition to these activities we have pledged to undertake during the conference, we call for the following actions:
To the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, we call upon the regime to abide by the four human rights treaties it has signed, specifically to abolish the political prison camps and detention centers in North Korea where people are subjected to inhumane and cruel treatment, to end the use of torture, forced abortion and infanticide; to end the use of the testing of weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical weapons experimentation on political prisoners, and to release all returnees, detainees, abducted citizens of Japan and South Korea, prisoners of the Korean War, and any citizens currently being held in North Korea against their will;
To the People’s Republic of China, we call upon the PRC to release all humanitarian workers, including its own citizens and citizens of South Korea and the United States and any nation, it has jailed for helping North Korean refugees.
We furthermore call upon the PRC to abide by the international agreements it has signed, the 1951 U.N. Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, and Article III, paragraph 5 of the 1995 agreement on the Upgrading of the UNHCR Mission in the UNHCR Branch office in the PRC, and end the forced repatriation of North Korean refugees and provide unimpeded access to the UNHCR to interview all North Koreans seeking refuge.
To the International Community,
We applaud the United States Congress for its recent unanimous passage of the North Korean Human Rights Act and encourage the U.S. administration to implement the provisions of the Act in a timely manner in order to save lives of the North Korean people and we applaud the legislators in the Republic of Korea and Japan who have pledged to adopt similar humanitarian measures, and furthermore, we call for other legislatures around the world to adopt similar humanitarian measures to help the North Korean refugees, to reach out to the North Korean people, to ensure that food aid reaches its intended recipients, and to make human rights a central component of any policy with North Korea.
We call on the citizens of the world to join in the peaceful demonstrations to be held on April 28, 2005, at the embassies and consulate offices of the People’s Republic of China which are aimed at changing the PRC’s policy of forced repatriation of North Korean Refugees and at gaining the release of Chinese citizens and international humanitarian workers who have been incarcerated for providing food, shelter and safety to North Korean refugees.
We especially appeal to those countries in the region to allow safe passage of North Korean refugees, to consider adopting a first asylum policy to protect at-risk North Korean men, women, and children, and to work cooperatively towards a multilateral agreement that provides safe haven.
We call for the adoption by business firms investing in the DPRK, especially South Korean and Japanese firms of a code of fair labor standards, including protecting children, similar to the Sullivan principles which were adopted during the Apartheid era in South Africa.
We also call upon the international trade union movement, especially the labor organizations in South Korea, to defend and protect their brother and sister workers in the DPRK from being exploited as a source of slave labor and subjected to inhuman working conditions.
To the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, we applaud the Commission for its condemnation of the North Korea regime for its human rights abuses, for their appointment of a Special Rapporteur for North Korean human rights and urge that the Commission continue to support his work and use all possible means to see his recommendations are carried out, and furthermore we applaud the Special Rapporteur’s findings defining nationals of the DPRK who cross the Chinese border as “refugees” or “refugees sur place.”
To the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees, we ask you to simply do your job, to implement your mission to secure your right to unimpeded access to the North Korean refugees in China and any nation by invoking binding arbitration and call upon the nations in the region to allow safe passage for North Korean refugees.
To the International Olympic Committee, we call upon you to change the venue of the 2008 Olympics from Beijing to another city, unless the People’s Republic of China ends its violent action of repatriation of North Korean refugees who face imprisonment and execution when they are returned to North Korea.
To the people of the Democratic People’s Republic Korea, we especially want to affirm to you that we have heard your cries and know your suffering and that we stand with you in solidarity and pledge to work for the day when you may enjoy the same human rights and freedoms as enjoyed by free people throughout the world.
To this 6th International Conference on North Korea Human Rights and Refugees, we pledge to continue to expand the international network devoted to saving the lives of North Koreans, working with as individuals and with our respective governments to focus the greatest attention on the human rights of the North Korea people until the light of human rights will shine on the entire Korean peninsula.
We express our deep appreciation to the Citizens Alliance for North Korea Human Rights and Refugees and the people of Seoul for hosting this International Conference and look forward to gathering in Norway next year for the 7th International Conference.
Suzanne Scholte, Chairman, USA
Phil Song Hong, ROK
Pierre Rigoulot, France
Ann Buwalda, USA
Fumiaki Yamada, Japan