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Human Rights Violations and Activism
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Recent North Korean diaspora has given rise to many female refugee groups fighting for the protection of women’s rights.

Presenting in-depth accounts of North Korean women defectors living in the UK, this book examines how their harrowing experiences have become an impetus for their activism. The author also reveals how their utopian dream of a better future for fellow North Korean women is vital in their activism.

Unique in its focus on the intersections between gender, politics, activism and mobility, Lim's illuminating work will inform debates on activism and human rights internationally.

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can act, which humans can change. When faced with a regime like the DPRK, such optimism seems vital. Having examined North Korean women’s stories of human rights violations in Chapter 3 , in this chapter I focus on their activism. These activists’ narratives suggest that their harrowing experiences during their escapes and subsequent lives in China initially made them feel ashamed, especially as women, and therefore they managed their pain and trauma in silence. However, for each of them there had been a transitional phase, from victimhood to activism, although

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Introduction As discussed in Chapter 1 , testimonies provided by those who have fled North Korea have exposed a plethora of human rights abuses against women, both within North Korea and in China, as well as during the process of either crossing the border to China or being repatriated to the North. The life history interview data I collected revealed a continuous cycle of appalling maltreatment of women beyond the physical boundaries of the regime. Drawing on these findings, this chapter examines the human rights abuses experienced by North Korean women

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North Korean women defectors and their human rights issues. I start with a discussion on phenomenology, which is a foundational philosophical underpinning of my research, especially hermeneutic (or interpretive) phenomenology. Next, the discussion progresses into life history in connection with phenomenology. After establishing the philosophical foundations and method, I examine access to and recruitment of the participants during different phases of the research. In the ensuing section, I present the feminist approach that I take to this research in order to centre

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North Korean women’s human rights As examined in this book, North Korea is at an interesting crossroads where ‘old’ and ‘new’ meet. Kim Jong Un has inherited a legacy of totalitarianism, built on a pseudo-religious and familial imagery with a clear hierarchy, along with a failed economy and widespread human rights violations. There have been some signs and suggestions that the DPRK is experiencing cultural shifts, especially in gender relations, mainly due to the development of a market economy and women’s newly obtained role as breadwinners. This

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In this chapter, I move on to a theorization of the motivations behind activism, drawing on the narratives of women activists examined in Chapter 4 . As discussed there, numerous studies have explored the driving forces behind various social movements and cases of political activism. Nonetheless, there is a dearth of theorization founded on their empirical data. This is particularly the case for extant studies on North Korean women defectors’ experiences, which are largely drawn from their oral testimonies, and is due to a lack of research on women’s activism

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This book examines the human rights abuses suffered by North Korean women and how some of these women are confronting this abuse through their activism. Based on this examination, I argue that – albeit with small numbers and slow progress – such a battle is critical for addressing North Korean women’s human rights. I further argue that tackling women’s rights issues will have a ripple effect on children and men due to overlapping characteristics that affect all North Koreans, together with their interconnected lives. The economic crisis of the mid-1990s in

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Human Rights Watch Human Rights Watch

treating all defectors as enemies of the country, sending anyone caught and repatriated from China to political prison camps. North Korean women fleeing their country are frequently trafficked into forced marriages with Chinese men or the sex trade. Even if they have lived in China for years, these women are not entitled to legal residence there and face possible arrest and repatriation at any time. Many children from these unrecognized mar- riages lack legal identity or access to elementary education in China. Freedom of Information All media and publications are state

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Human Rights Watch Human Rights Watch

. 411 HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH World Report 2015 Book NEW_World Report 2015 Book 1/6/15 6:57 PM Page 411 North Korean women fleeing their country are frequently trafficked into forced de facto marriages with Chinese men. Even if they have lived in China for years, these women are not entitled to legal residence and face possible arrest and repatriation. Many children of such unrecognized marriages lack legal identity or access to elementary education. Labor Rights North Korea is one of the few nations in the world that still refuses to join the In- ternational Labor

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, D. (2005) ‘Human trafficking’, Foreign Policy, September/October, pp 30-2 (www.hrusa.org/workshops/trafficking/ThinkAgain.pdf#search=%22david%20 feingold%20%22greatest%20r isk%20factor%22%20hill%20tr ibe%20 population%20citizenship%22). HRW (Human Rights Watch) (2008) Denied status, denied education: Children of North Korean women in China, New York, NY: Human Rights Watch. IPDS Xi’an Jiaotong University (2005) An exploratory investigation of birth registration in China: Situations, determinants and promotion policies, Xian: Plan China. Lynch, M. (2007) Child

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