The 10th International Conference on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees in Toronto last weekend condemned gross infringement of human rights in North Korea, and sought ways to tackle the problems through international cooperation.
Saturday's conference focused on the violation of the rights of North Korean women who escaped to China. Lee Won-woong, professor of social welfare studies at Kwandong University, said, "Women make up 70 percent of North Korean defectors, and most of them are victims of human trafficking and bonded labor. Many of them are trafficked and sold to farmers in the inland China or become sex slaves in cities."
Roberta Cohen of the conservative Brookings Institution in the U.S., said although China is a signatory of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, it does not have the refugee adjudication process, and bans the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in China from contacting North Korean refugees. She said this is a violation of international law.