About The Database Center for North Korean Human Rights (NKDB)

Established in 2003, the Database Center for North Korean Human Rights is a non-profit civil society organization that documents North Korean human rights violations, pursues accountability, and provides relief to victims.

Our Mission

Document and Analyze Cases of North Korean Human Rights Violations

Further Accountability Efforts for Perpetrators of Human Rights Violations

Provide Resettlement Assistance Services to North Korean Escapees in South Korea

NKDB's MISSION

Provide civil society with the data and solutions to the structural issues at the core of the North Korean human rights situation through a human rights-based approach to the North Korean human rights issue

Pursue a Human Rights-based Approach


Promote the role of civil society in carrying out the principals of PANEL (Participant, Accountability, Nondiscrimination, Empowerment, Link to human rights standards)
Indivisibility and interdependence



The Structural Roots of the North Korean Human Rights Issue (Human Rights Violations through the Political System)
Identification of 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 perpetrators of North Korea human rights violations are governmental organizations (MSS, MPS, etc.)

Collect Legal Evidence for the Realization of Human Rights; First South Korean Established North Korea Human Rights Archives
Provide advice regarding human rights abuses, prepare evidence to ensure that perpetrators are punished according to domestic and international law
Victim-centered records (focusing on the victims' rights)
Research in pursuit of future accountability efforts

WHAT WE DO

Including and encouraging the North Korean people to exercise their rights

The most critical actors for improving North Korean human rights are the North Korean people themselves as the primary drivers of change. NKDB conducts full investigations with North Korean escapees in light of the reality that it is impossible to directly contact victims due to the current state of division on the Korean Peninsula. Those who participate in investigations not only assist in investigating the human rights violations that they themselves have experienced, but also on the human rights violations they have witnessed and heard about, assisting with investigations as direct agents for improving North Korean human rights both now and in the future. NKDB analyzes collected testimonies by applying an international human rights analytical framework and established the NKDB Unified Human Rights Database in 2006 with this analyzed data, now the largest collection of data on North Korean human rights violations in the world, prioritizing the objectivity of data regarding the state of North Korean human rights.

Investigation
To date, NKDB has conducted surveys and interviewed over 20,000 North Korean escapees in South Korea
Investigate cases of violations that North Korean escapees have experienced, witnessed, or heard about
Conducting full investigations with North Korean escapees at Hanawon (late 1990s to 2019)
Conducting investigations with resettled North Korean escapees in South Korean society after the Ministry of Unification revoked access for full investigations at Hanawon since 2020


Analysis
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-verify data
Analyze public resources, such as literature and press releases related to North Korean human rights, in addition to direct investigations

Data
Over 81,000 accumulated cases of North Korean human rights violations 
Over 51,000 accumulated cases of individuals associated with North Korean human rights violations
Principal of non-political, non-religious, non-profit in order to maintain 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 provides assistance for those who have experienced human rights violations in 
North Korea in order to heal and support their new start

NKDB provides individually-tailored psychological counseling services to victims of North Korean human rights violations that have been tortured, assaulted, trafficked, or have undergone and witnessed other serious human rights abuses inside and outside North Korea simply for being North Korean. NKDB provides assistance for those with psychological aftereffects through our professional psychological counselors and social workers who are familiar with North Korean human rights violations and have obtained a master's degree level of education or higher. Protecting and supporting those who have experienced human rights violations is a role that NKDB and civil society can immediately implement for the sake of resettlement and social integration in South Korea.


*Support across South Korea is provided free of charge

WHAT WE DO

Fulfilling the role of civil society for achieving improved human rights in North Korea

NKDB conducts research and publishes reports to fulfill the role of civil society for improving the ongoing issue of North Korean human rights violations. Based on the NKDB Unified Human Rights Database, established through scientific analysis of testimony provided by over 20,000 North Korean escapees, NKDB maintains objectivity and forms the foundation of the North Korean human rights movement. In addition, NKDB provides a place for mutual communication between North and South Koreans, as well as cooperation between civil society and academic institutions to strengthen participation in the North Korean human rights movement, a core element of NKDB activities. Moreover, NKDB provides psychological counseling support and social resettlement assistance to those who have experienced human rights violations in North Korea, including prisoners of war, abductees, and unprotected North Korean escapees.

Research
Publish 4 annual reports 
  • White Paper on North Korean Human Rights
  • White Paper on Religious Freedom in North Korea
  • Survey on South Koreans’ Perception of Human Rights in North Korea
  • Social and Economic Integration of North Korean Defectors in South Korea
Conduct special investigative research into areas such as UPR Monitoring, the SDGs and North Korean Human Rights, Overseas Labor, North Korean Women, Human Rights in the North Korean Military, and POWs in North Korean Detention Facilities


Educate
Hold monthly briefings in English on North Korean human rights for diplomatic officials and foreign news correspondents
Operate the NKDB Education Center for Korean Integration (Conducting semi-annual Academies, such as the North Korean Human Rights Academy, The Unification Diplomacy Academy, Unification Law Academy, Unification Social Welfare Academy, The Together for Unification Academy, and the Dream Plus Forum)
Establish a committee for constructing and opening a North Korean Human Rights Museum and Memorial
Maintaining and growing the North Korean Human Rights Larchiveum (Library, Archive, and Museum) 

Support
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 victims of human rights violations
Conduct educational programs on social adjustment for returned POWs and abductees
Provide follow-up services for returned POWs and abductees and carry out research through oral histories
Carry out projects that support the initial resettlement of unprotected North Korean escapees
Operation of the West Gyeonggi Hana Center

Empowering Civil Society to Improve Human Rights

WHAT WE DO

Urging South Korea and the international community to fulfill their obligations
for the realization of human rights for the North Korean people

NKDB focuses on monitoring the current state of human rights in North Korea, engages in activities that support international and domestic civil society, and cooperates with the international community and state governments to protect the rights of victims. NKDB collaborates closely with the international community by utilizing the results and testimonies that have been collected and analyzed to identify and validate North Korean human rights violations as criminal acts. In order to implement the social obligations for universal, indivisible, and interdependent human rights through legal avenues, NKDB currently conducts North Korean human rights research that utilizes international human rights mechanisms (UPR, SDGs) and shares the results with relevant stakeholders and others in the civil society sphere.

Policy Recommendations
Domestic and international policy recommendations 
Monitoring the implementation North Korea’s obligations under international human rights treaties and mechanisms (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 diplomatic posts in different countries

NKDB is a non-political, non-profit organization that cooperates with organizations both in South Korea and internationally for the improvement of human rights for the North Korean people. We ask you to join us on this 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 our, we need the support of people who care about the human rights, freedom, and the livelihood of the North Korean people to join us in our pursuit of the improvement of human rights in North Korea. Human rights should never be used as part of a political agenda, and North Korean human rights are no exception. In order to make this a reality, NKDB works with a variety of 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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