Rescuing and serving persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

ICC Note: For several years now North Korea has remained the world’s single worst State persecutor of Christians. To even possess a Bible can result not only in your arrest and life imprisonment, but the arrest and life imprisonment of three generations of your family. In the last ten years there have been reports of Christians executed for distributing Bibles or working with the underground church. On the 60th anniversary of the Korean war Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is drawing attention to the ongoing human rights crisis that has left hundreds of thousands to suffer in terrible conditions across the “Hermit Kingdom.” 
7/29/2013 North Korea (CSW) – On the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is calling for increased efforts by the international community to address the grave human rights crisis in North Korea.
The Korean War ended on 27 July 1953, having claimed the lives of three million Koreans including many civilians. However, the war ended in an armistice, not a permanent peace, and the Korean peninsula is technically still at war between North and South. Furthermore, North Korean people continue to suffer under a brutal regime with one of the worst human rights records in the world.
An estimated 200,000 people are believed to be detained in five political prison camps across the country. The system of guilt by association means that citizens can be imprisoned for political “crimes” committed by their family members for three generations. Conditions in the camps are dire: inmates endure freezing temperatures in winter, hard labour, and meager food rations. Defectors estimate that 70 percent of prisoners are severely malnourished. Torture, rape and public executions are common.
Outside the camps, the government’s strict control over resources, combined with bad harvests, storms and flooding, have resulted in widespread starvation and malnutrition. Every year thousands of North Koreans try to escape over the border into China. Many female border crossers are victims of human trafficking. However, China does not recognise North Koreans as refugees and regularly repatriates men, women and children to North Korea where they face imprisonment, torture and death. In May 2013, nine North Koreans, including at least one child, were deported from Laos to China and were repatriated from there to North Korea. As a party to the UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, China is bound by the principle of non-refoulement. By forcibly repatriating North Koreans, China is in violation of its international commitments.
Since 2007 CSW has been calling for an international inquiry into the human rights situation in North Korea. In 2011 CSW helped establish the International Coalition to Stop Crimes against Humanity in North Korea (ICNK), drawing together over 40 human rights organisations to campaign for an investigation, culminating in a resolution adopted by the UN Human Rights Council in March 2013 establishing a Commission of Inquiry “to investigate the systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights” in North Korea.

[Full Story]