About NKDB

Established in 2003, the Database Center for North Korean Human Rights is a non-profit civil society organization that seeks to document North Korean human rights violations, pursue transitional justice, and provide relief to victims.

Our Mission

Helping to Overcome the Pain and Conflict Caused by the Division of the Korean Peninsula

Seeking Accountability Through Transitional Justice for Victims of Human Rights Violations

Creating a Human Rights-based inter-Korean Community


Provide Civil Society’s Human Rights-based Approach to the North Korean Human Rights Issue through Information and Solutions to Structural Issues, the heart of the North Korean Human Rights Issue

A Human Rights-based Approach

Promote the role of civil society to carry out the principal of PANEL (Participant, Accountability, Nondiscrimination, Empowerment, Link to HR Standards)
Indivisibility, and Interdependence

The Structural Problem of the North Korean Human Rights Issue (Human Rights Violations Generated By the Political System)
Identifying the North Korean state, the main agent of human rights obligations (respecting, protecting, and guaranteeing human rights), as a perpetrator

Based on the NKDB Unified Human Rights Database, over 80% of North Korea human rights violation cases' perpetrators are governmental organizations (MSS, MPS, etc,)

Collects Legal Basis to Carry Out Human Rights, The First to Establish the North Korea Human Rights Archive in South Korea
Provide advice regarding human rights abuses, prepare evidence to ensure that perpetrators are punished according to domestic and international law
Victim-centered (relief the rights of a victim) records 
Research in pursuit of future transitional justice


Inclusion of North Koreans,
Empowering Them to Exercise Their Rights

The most important element of improving North Korean human rights is the participation of the North Korean people themselves as the primary stakeholders. NKDB conducts full investigations with North Korean defectors after recognizing and reflecting on the reality that it is impossible to have direct contact with victims due to the state of division on the Korean Peninsula. Those who take part in investigations not only assist in the investigations on cases of human rights abuses they have experienced, but also on human rights violation cases that they have witnessed and heard about, participating in the investigations as direct agents for improving North Korean human rights now and in the future. NKDB analyzes collected testimonies by applying an international human rights analysis framework, and has established the Unified Human Rights Database by utilizing this analyzed data, emphasizing objectivity and impartiality regarding the real state of North Korean human rights.

To date, conducted surveys of and interviewed 20,000 North Korean defectors
Investigated cases of abuse that North Korean defectors experienced, witnessed, or heard about
Carry out conducting full investigations with North Korean defectors (Conducted from the late 1990s to 2019)
Conducting social investigations after the Ministry of Unification revoked access for full investigations

Categorize information on North Korean human rights violation cases and individuals through specific standards based on international human rights regulations
Secure multiple testimonies regarding the same cases and individuals to cross-verifying information
Analyzes public sources such as literature, press releases, etc. related to North Korean human rights in addition to our direct investigations

Over 79,000 accumulated cases of North Korean human rights violations 
Over 50,000 accumulated cases of individuals associated with North Korean human rights violations
Principal of non-political, non-religious, non-profit for maintaining the objectivity of the database
Strengthen the accessibility of North Korean human rights data for relevant researchers and civil society organizations (seeking visualization, digitalization)

NKDB helps those who have experienced human rights violations in 
North Korea heal their wounds and support new beginnings

NKDB provides individually-tailored psychological services to victims of North Korean human rights violations who were tortured, assaulted, trafficked, or have undergone and witnessed other serious human rights abuses inside and outside North Korea just because they are North Korean. We provide assistance for these psychological aftereffects by having our professional psychological counselors and social workers who are familiar with North Korean human rights violations and have earned a master's degree or higher. Protecting and supporting those who have experienced human rights violations is a role for civil society that we can immediately implement for the sake of inter-Korean social integration.

*Nationwide Support, Free of Charge


Fulfilling the Role of Civil Society for Achieving Improvements in Human Rights

We conduct research and publish reports to fulfill the role of civil society in improving the ongoing issue of North Korean human rights violations. Based on the NKDB Unified Human Rights Database, which was established through scientific analysis of the testimony provided by over 20,000 North Korean defectors, we maintain objectivity and form the foundation of the North Korean human rights movement. In addition, we provide a place for mutual communication between North and South Koreans, as well as discussions between civil society and educational organizations to reinforce participation in the movement, a core element of our activities regarding human rights. Moreover, we are preparing for a future integrated Korean society by providing psychological counseling support and social adaptation assistance to those who have experienced human rights violations in North Korea, POWs, abductees, and unprotected North Korean defectors.

Publish annual reports (The White Paper on North Korean Human Rights, The White Paper on Religious Freedom in North Korea, Survey on South Koreans’ Perception of Human Rights in North Korea, Report on Social and Economic Integration of North Korean Defectors in South Korea)
Conduct special investigative research (UPR Monitoring, SDGs and North Korean Human Rights, Overseas Workers, North Korean Women, Human Rights of North Korean Armed Forces Personnel, POWs in North Korean Detention Facilities, etc.) 

Hold regular North Korean human rights briefings in English for diplomatic officials and foreign correspondents
Operate the NKDB Education Center for Korean Integration (Conducting semi-annual Academies, such as the North Korean Human Rights Academy, The Unification Diplomacy, Psychological Counseling Academy, Unification Social Welfare Academy, The Together for Unification Academy, and the Dream Plus Forum for youth)
Establish a committee for constructing and opening the North Korean Human Rights Museum
Maintaining and growing the North Korean Human Rights Museum website (North Korean Human Rights Larchiveum) 

Operation of the Resettlement Assistance Headquarters
Support the psychological well-being and social resettlement of those who have been victims of torture, and human trafficking
Publish storybooks written by those whose human rights had been violated
Conduct educational programs for social adaptation for returned POWs and abductees
Provide follow-up assistance for returned POWs and abductees and carry out research through oral histories
Carry out projects that support initial resettlement of unprotected North Korean defectors
Operate the West Gyeonggi Hana Center

Empowering Civil Society to Improve Human Rights


Urging South Korea and the International Community to Fulfill their Obligations
for the Realization of Human Rights for the North Korean People

We focus on monitoring the current state of human rights in North Korea and engage in activities that support international and national civil society and cooperate with the international community and state governments to protect the rights of victims. We collaborate closely with the international community by utilizing the results and testimonies that have been collected and analyzed in the past to identify and validate the North Korean human rights issue as crimes. In order to implement the social obligations for universal, indivisible, and interdependent human rights through a legal basis, we currently conduct North Korean human rights research that utilizes international human rights mechanisms (UPR, SDGs) and share the results with relevant stakeholders and others in the civil society sphere.

Policy Recommendations
Policy recommendations 
Monitoring of the implementation North Korea’s obligations under international human rights treaties (UPR, SDGs)
Recommendations for a human rights-based approach in humanitarian and development projects with North Korea

International Advocacy
Raising awareness on North Korean human rights issues
Civil society engagement at the United Nations and other international platforms
International seminars in Europe and North America
Victims’ Voices Reports
Mailing of reports on North Korean human rights to North Korean embassies in different countries

NKDB is a non-political, non-profit organization that works in solidarity with organizations both in South Korea and internationally for the advancement of human rights for the North Korean people. We ask you to join us on that journey.

NKDB ensures that the human rights and freedom of the North Korean people are at the core of every project. For NKDB to continue to do this, we need people who care about the human rights, freedom, and livelihood of the North Korean people to join us in this movement. Human rights should never be used as part of a political agenda, and North Korean human rights are no exception. In order to realize this, NKDB works across the board with different civil society organizations, coalitions, UN agencies, and governmental organizations so that the universal value of human rights remains at the core of all North Korea-related activities. 

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Database Center for North Korean Human Rights (NKDB) 북한인권정보센터

3F, Changgyeonggung-ro 1 gil-33, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea 

Zipcode: 04558

04558 서울시 중구 창경궁로 1길 33(충무로 4가, 삼양페이퍼피더블) 3층 

TEL : 02-723-6045   E-Mail : nkdb.org@hotmail.com

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