Where has all the courage gone?

 | April 18, 2008 6:36 AM

In the light of the protests for Tibet and Darfur it saddens me that the world knows little about the North Korean situation. Maybe it’s because North Korea has done such a great job of controlling information or maybe it’s because North Korea does not have a famous advocate like the Dalai Lama or Mia Farrow.

This article asks the question what is the world doing.

Where has all the courage gone? – International Herald Tribune
By Joseph Hong

Few countries today can claim as staggering a list of human rights violations as North Korea.

For starters, there’s a resurgent famine driven by gross government mismanagement that threatens millions of lives, hundreds of thousands of political prisoners languish in concentration camps, and an estimated half-million refugees remain in hiding from forced repatriation that often results in torture and execution.

As the situation grows ever more desperate for those fleeing the world’s most repressive regime, urgent attention is needed.

The People’s Republic of China regards North Korean refugees as “economic migrants” and actively hunts them down in an effort to prevent a mass migration through the long Chinese-North Korean border, in violation of the 1951 Refugee Convention.

Reports from the field indicate that China is offering increasingly lucrative bounties for cases that lead to arrest and repatriation.

North Koreans seeking asylum in countries that do not repatriate refugees are put in severely overcrowded detention centers, sometimes for well over a year, before being issued exit visas.

In light of this, it is fair to say that international institutions have totally failed in their duty to protect refugees and curtail human rights violations.

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