Sunday, November 29, 2009

International Lawmakers focus on North Korean Defectors

An international group of lawmakers meeting in Thailand has urged countries to better protect and support North Korean defectors. They also demanded that China stop forcibly repatriating refugees to North Korea, where they could face execution.

Representatives from twelve countries met in Thailand Saturday to raise attention to the plight of North Korean refugees. The International Parliamentarians' Coalition for North Korean Refugees and Human Rights says those who escape impoverished but tightly controlled North Korea to China often face abuse and discrimination because of their illegal status.

South Korean lawmaker Kim Yong-tae says women make up 80 percent of North Korean defectors, and most of them end up marrying Chinese men but neither they or their children have access to social services in China.

The lawmakers issued a joint statement calling on Pyongyang to end its gross human rights violations, including political detentions, torture, and public executions.

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