Resettlement Assistance Headquarters


The Resettlement Assistance Headquarters provides North Korean victims of human rights violations the support they need for social resettlement and psychological stability

After the establishment of NKDB, we discovered through the human rights investigation process that there were numerous North Korean escapees that suffer from psychological aftereffects due to their experience with human rights violations. Therefore, the Resettlement Assistance Headquarters was established in 2005 in order to assist these North Korean human rights victims with the adjustment process to overcome their psychological, social, and cultural difficulties. From the moment they escape suffering from human rights violations through the burden of living in an entirely new environment, our expert counselors work with victims to ensure their independence and stability. The Resettlement Assistance Headquarters also plays a role in recommending policy through their research on psychological treatment for North Korean human rights victims and the realities of their resettlement in South Korean society.

Victim Relief

Prisoners of

Social readjustment education and support for returned prisoners of war, abductees, and victims who were detained for long periods of time, subject to forced labor, and other human rights abuses.

Human Rights and 
Victims of Torture

Psychological counseling, medical support, and case management support for those subject to physical and mental abuse while in North Korean detention and interrogation facilities.

North Korean Victims of
Human Trafficking

Support for psychological counseling, treatment, and social readjustment for victims of mental and physical abuse caused by human trafficking and forced prostitution in China.


Providing support for unprotected defectors and those born in a third country who are ineligible for official South Korean defector resettlement support through resettlement support, Healing Camps, and connections with other forms of support.

Support Background

- Those who experienced torture and assault in places such as North Korean police holding camps and prisons

- Those who have resettled in South Korea, but experience difficulties such as depression, stress, 
and discomfort, as well as those suffering pain from physical and psychological aftereffects

- Unprotected North Korean Defectors

- Returned prisoners of war and abductees

Exclusive Recipient of Funding

from the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture


The NKDB Resettlement Assistance Headquarters works as one of only two South Korean partners

of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture (UNVFVT)

(2014 - present, 9 consecutive years)

Providing victim-centered support,

helping them to overcome their struggles

Based on human rights violations investigations, we focus on restoring the dignity and rights of victims, standing by their side and providing them a voice. Additionally, we assist these victims in overcoming their past trauma and hardship to take control of their own lives, while also supporting their successful resettlement into South Korean society and their role as primary agents in a unified Korean society.

“Erasing the darkness in your heart and filling your life with thoughts of hope.”

With a comprehensive understanding of North Korean society, North Korean escapees, and human rights violations, every one of our expert counselors and social workers holds at least a master’s degree

Conducting effective psychological counseling utilizing a variety of techniques in consideration of the special circumstances of North Korean human rights victims. (Individual Counseling, Group Counseling, Family Counseling) 

We conduct a number of overnight camps to assist in promoting psychological stability and strengthening the competence of victims through Forest Healing Therapy, Art Therapy, cultural activities, and forming self-help groups. 

Providing medical support to victims who require hospital treatment due to the physical and psychological aftereffects of their experience with torture.

In order to resolve an array of difficulties in the adjustment process, we provide services matched to the needs of the victims, providing opportunities for unique experiences to promote leisure and cultural activities.

Cooperating Organizations and Advisors

- Dr. Jong-hoon Park, Anam Hospital, Korea University

- Attorney Boknam Yun, Hankyul Law Group

- Professor Sook-young Lee, Professor of Counseling, Konkuk University

- Professor Eun-gyeong Oh, Professor of Counseling, Sahmyook University

- Professor Ok Kyung Yang, The Graduate School of Social Welfare, Ewha Women’s University

- Sun-hwa Kim, Section Chief, Macheon Social Welfare Group

Publishing Storybooks and Oral History Research Through Narrative Exposure Therapy

We conduct Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) for those victims who have experienced complex trauma. While looking back and recording their lives, noting not only the specific trauma, but their entire lives from the sad memories to the happy memories, victims are able to integrate their life experiences and see their memories of trauma as only one piece of their lives. Additionally, if victims want to share their stories with others or show a willingness to publish their stories in order to help other victims, we provide support to publish their experiences as a storybook.

This foundation of recorded experiences serves as vivid historical documentation. Since the establishment of NKDB, while recognizing the importance of records on POWs and abductees, not only do we archive these human rights violations in the NKDB Unified Human Rights Database, but with the use of testimony, we also continue to conduct seminars to recommend policy and release published materials such as books and reports.

Mobile : Scroll the table from side to side. ←→

Resettlement Assistance Headquarters History

 2014 ~ 2021

ㆍRecipient of funding for North Korean victims of torture from the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture (UNVFVT) (2014-2021) 

Entrusted by the Ministry of National Defense with carrying out resettlement projects for returned Prisoners of War (2014-2021) 

Resettlement services for returned abductees (2015-2021) 

UNODC Project for improving the social adjustment for female victims of North Korean human trafficking (2018-2020) 

Capacity building project for female victims of North Korean human rights violations, sponsored by the Sungjoo Foundation (2018) 

Counseling for victims of North Korean human rights violations, sponsored by the US State Department’s Julia Taft Fund (2015-2016) 

Initial settlement support project for unprotected North Korean defectors (2015-2021) 

Seminar on the realities of resettlement for unprotected North Korean defectors and policy recommendations (2015) 

Pilot program providing resettlement support for returned abductees (2014) 

 2009 ~ 2013

Follow-up services (resettlement assistance) for returned Prisoners of War (2013) 

Social Adjustment Education for returned abductees (2013) 

Establishment of the POW and Abductee Resettlement Assistance Center within the Resettlement Assistance Headquarters (2012) 

Pilot program for follow-up services (resettlement assistance) for returned Prisoners of War (2012) 

Research conducted on the Oral History and follow up services for returned Prisoners of War (2010-2011) 

Social Adjustment Education for returned Prisoners of War (2009) 

Group counseling program for improving the self-esteem of North Korean youth escapees (2009) 

2005 ~ 2008

Conducted a group program to help North Korean escapee youth adapt to school and establish a career path (2008) 

Interaction time for revisiting the relations between North Korean escapees and South Korean supporters (2008) 

Conducted pilot project providing social adjustment education to returned prisoners of war (2008) 

Becoming a healthy helper for North Korean escapee resettlement (2007) 

Research on creating integrated procedures for improving the mental health of North Korean escapees (2006) 

Nationwide integrated service support project for improving the mental health of North Korean escapees (2006) 

Support project for overcoming PTSD through group and counseling services for North Korean human rights victims (2005) 

NKDB Resettlement Assistance Headquarters established (2005)

Online Counseling

The NKDB Resettlement Assistance Headquarters researchers and related experts will

cooperate and do all we can to give you strength and happiness.