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Human Rights Protection of North Koreans in a Third Country: A Legal Approach

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Authors
Lee, Eric Yong-Joong
Issue Date
2004
Publisher
BK 21 law
Citation
Journal of Korean Law, Vol.4 No.1, pp. 155-177
Abstract
A primary purpose of writing this article is to investigate the situation of North Korean escapees in a third country including China, Russia or other countries and to search for international legal measures protecting their human rights. Since the mid-1990s, many North Koreans have escaped from either their country or from working places in another country, not to return to North Korea for political and economic reasons. Their defections have been accelerated by the severe food crisis and human rights abuses plaguing North Korea. As the number of the escapees has grown, their status has become a hot issue among the states concerned. It finally became a critical point at issue in international society with the forcible repatriation of seven North Korean escapees in January 2000. In order not to hand over

these seven people and to protect their human rights, every possible international legal measure was taken at that time. Notwithstanding they should come back to North Korea. This question was a trigger of the discussion of human rights protection of North Korean escapees in a third country. The major tools of this study will be the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and other relevant legal measures. Diplomatic considerations should be also taken on these legal grounds. This paper mainly consists of three parts. The first part goes over the definition of escapees and refugees under international law. The main concerns of this part are two: who the North Korean escapees are and where they are located. The second part analyzes the legal status of North Korean escapees. The measures of their human rights protection will be checked under the 1951 Convention and other relevant legal measures. The third part will be devoted to searching for the diplomatic considerations over the issue on the legal grounds. For a final resolution, the paper will look at international cooperation of governments and NGOs.
ISSN
1598-1681
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/85077
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College of Law/Law School (법과대학/대학원)The Law Research Institute (법학연구소) Journal of Korean LawJournal of Korean Law Volume 04 Number 1/2 (2004)
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