Working Toward Improvements in North Korean Human Rights and
Inter-Korean Social Integration through Civil Society Education
In 2011, the launch of the first North Korean Human Rights Academy, with the goal of providing basic information on North Korean human rights to the public, has since grown into the NKDB Education Center for Korean Integration. NKDB now conducts 12-week educational programs twice a year through Academies on North Korean Human Rights, Unification Diplomacy, Psychological Counseling, Unification Social Welfare, Unification Law, Inter-Korean Integration, and the Together for Unification Academy in order to strengthen and unify civil society and provide civil education to the South Korean public. Seasonal courses are also offered in the areas of education, religion, and psychological understanding.
While safeguarding universal human values, communication between the people of South and North Korean and fostering an educational environment has become a vital need for the sake of transitional justice and inter-Korean social integration. Through a variety of educational programs and seminars, experts and civil society leaders share their wisdom to shape Korea's future leaders.
Academies are offered twice per year (Spring semester March-July, Fall semester September-December). Please visit the Education Center for Korean Integration website for more information.
Most Seasonal Courses are offered twice per year (Winter semester December-January, Summer semester July-September). Please visit the Education Center for Korean Integration website for more information.
The North Korean Human Rights Academy is conducted with the goal of sharing the objective reality of the severity of human rights violations in North Korea, as well as building a public forum for discussion and debate. Through this Academy, participants are challenged to think beyond basic recognition of the human rights issue, and instead discuss and learn different ways in how the situation can be improved. By taking part in the North Korean Human Rights Academy, participants are encouraged to take the opportunity to think about what measures South Korea and the international community can take to raise awareness and improve the North Korean human rights situation, as well as how to manage and give meaning to issues such as transitional justice in a future unified Korea.
Through discussions with former ROK Ambassadors to countries including the United States, China, Japan, Russia, and Germany, as well as the UN and other high level public officials involved in inter-Korean relations, the Unification Diplomacy Academy aims to cultivate the next generation of diplomatic movers and shakers in unification diplomacy. This Academy tackles issues such as what kind of strategies can be implemented to work toward inter-Korean peace and unification, as well as develops participants’ analysis and evaluation skills of the types of effort needed to realize these goals. Through direct interaction, discussion, and question and answer sessions with current and former Ambassadors and high level public officials, participants are encouraged to seize the opportunity to address a range of diplomatic issues currently surrounding the Korean Peninsula.
The Together for Unification Academy brings together participants in their 20s and 30s from both South and North Korea in an even split to discuss inter-Korean relations, North Korean democratization, human rights, and South-North social integration. Through this process, the Together for Unification Academy aims to train the next generation of professionals with the practical skills needed to steer inter-Korean relations toward a unified future. By bringing together young participants from both South and North Korea, we offer them the opportunity to learn about the importance of inter-Korean social integration and rational methodologies surrounding inter-Korean relations.
The Together for Unification Forum gathers together a dynamic group of students from the Education Center for Korean Integration that have displayed the potential and passion to more deeply understand North Korea and explore ways to effect change. The program is composed of students of North and South Korean parentage who participate in lectures and in-depth discussions once a month, exploring five major topics based on lectures and discussions led by invited experts.
This Academy aims to prepare the people of the two Koreas for possible conflict between citizens in the present and future through building psychological and emotional bonds as well as practical social integration. Based on a general understanding of North Korean society, this Academy explores the psychological characteristics of those North Korean escapees that have already arrived in South Korea, and looks for clues for how to achieve harmony between the people of the two Koreas. By participating in the Psychological Counseling Academy, the goal is to help participants develop their skills to become the leading psychological counseling professionals who will lead the successful future unified era through studying actual cases with some of the best experts in the field of psychological counseling, including North Korean escapees themselves.
The Unification Social Welfare Academy was created with the goal of thinking about how to approach the social welfare issues that will be encountered in the process of reunification, and seeking solutions to those issues. Based on a general understanding of North Korean society, the Academy explores the considerations and preparations needed to establish a substantive unified South Korean social welfare system. From an understanding of North Korean society, we begin by deriving the implications of a unified Korean social welfare system by examining the case of unified Germany, exploring subjects such as clinical/medical treatment, children and adolescents, and the elderly and disabled to develop practical policies and procedures. Through this Academy, we prioritize providing participants with the opportunity to prepare for building a co-prosperous community between the South and North Korean people.
The Unification Law Academy was established to spread knowledge about North Korean law, inter-Korean relations, and unification law through lectures by legal experts in a variety of fields, and to nurture future experts in unification law. Through this academy, participants are able to identify in advance the various legal issues that will arise over unification and share methods of how to prepare for these issues. Participants are able to learn about the legal issues that occur in the process of inter-Korean exchange and cooperation from lawyers, legal experts, researchers, law professors, and former public officials, and to have in-depth discussions on how to integrate the legal system between the two Koreas following unification.
The North Korea Education course explores the education system in North Korea and how that system shapes the way people see their country and state. While exploring the way the educational system is structured in North Korea, the course also explores the current state of education, the way unification is taught, the differences between education in the North and South, and what an integrated education system may look like in a unified Korea.
The Religion in North Korea course offers the opportunity to learn about the state of religion in North Korea, particularly with regards to how the North Korean government views religion in policy. The course also explores the role that religion may play in a future unified Korean state, as well as the role of religion in inter-Korean cooperation.
The Psychological Understanding course provides the opportunity for those in South Korea to more fully understand the psychological thought process of those North Korean escapees in South Korea. Through examination of topics such as education, the resettlement process in South Korea, the stress that North Korean escapees face, as well as psychological trauma, this course provides participants with a way to more fully understand the difficulties that North Korean escapees face as they resettle in South Korea.
The Dream Plus Forum was created with the goal of cultivating awareness of North Korean human rights and unification, as well as teaching cultural inclusivity through person to person contact to the youth of both South and North Korea, subjects that are difficult to learn in a standard school curriculum. This Academy runs for a scheduled 3-4 days during the semester.
Database Center for North Korean Human Rights (NKDB) 북한인권정보센터
3rd Floor, 14 Gyeonghuigung-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea
(03175) 서울 종로구 경희궁길 14, 신영빌딩 3층
TEL : 02-723-6045 E-Mail : email@example.com