History

NKDB was officially established as an organization in 2003 and has since made

it its mission to advance the human rights of the North Korean people.



2020

Young-ho Shin (former Dean of the Korea University School of Law) appointed as the 4th Chairman of the Board of Directors

ㆍYang-ho Hong appointed as Director of the NKDB Education Center for Korean Integration

ㆍKi-shik Choi appointed as the 3rd Director of the North Korean Human Rights Archives

ㆍSelected and entrusted with operation of the West Gyeonggi Hana Center

ㆍPublication of North Korea’s "Wives Have the Economic Power and Husbands Are Belittled” Marital Conflict in North Korea : A Collection of Defector Testimonies

ㆍLaunch of the online North Korean Human Rights Larchiveum

ㆍNorth Korean Human Rights VISUAL ATLAS relaunched

ㆍPublication of North Korean Defector Story Books (A Black Streetlight, Treasure Island in My Heart)



2019

ㆍUN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture support project renewed for a 6th year

ㆍEstablished the ‘Committee for the Establishment of North Korean Human Rights Records Center’ 

ㆍHeld a joint side event with Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) at the Geneva Religious Freedom Conference (sponsored by the Dutch Foreign Ministry and the Polish Mission to the UN in Geneva)

ㆍConducted advocacy activities and participated in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) for North Korea at the UN in Geneva

ㆍPublished A Second Chance: North Korea’s Implementations of its Recommendations during its Second Universal Periodic Review

ㆍConducted a series of workshops titled, “The SDGs and North Korean Human Rights” (in conjunction with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation)

ㆍHeld a seminar and published a report titled, UN SDG Goal 3: The Right to Health in North Korea

ㆍSeminar at the National Assembly titled, ‘Developing Policies and Assigning Accountability for Forced Repatriation of North Korean Defectors’

ㆍPublished North Korean Defector Story Books (My Third House, Finding My Way in Life Again, Blue Triangle Mountain)



2018

ㆍYeosang Yoon appointed as the 3rd Chief Director of NKDB

ㆍSoon-hee Lim appointed as 2nd Director of the North Korean Human Rights Archives 

ㆍPublication of report titled, Prisoners in Uniform: The State of Human Rights in North Korea’s Military

ㆍCrowdfunding campaign for female victims of torture 

ㆍNorth Korean Human Rights Concert, ‘Now & Then’

Seminar regarding policies to improve the North Korean Human Rights Act held at the South Korean National Assembly

Seminar titled, ‘The State of Menstrual Health of North Korean Women and Measures for Delivering Effective Assistance’ 

ㆍConducted an investigation for a special report on forced labor in North Korea with collaboration with the Leiden Asia Centre (sponsored by the Walk Free Foundation)

ㆍFundraising event held at the NKDB Education for Korean Integration (sponsored by LocknLock)

ㆍLaunched the first Together for Unification Academy

ㆍConducted the first Dream Plus Forum Youth Academy



2017

ㆍOffice moved to Chungmuro and opening of the NKDB Education Center for Korean Integration

Seminar titled, ‘The Current Situation of North Korean Overseas Laborers and Human Rights’ held in the Netherlands and Japan

ㆍPresentation on the results of North Korea’s implementation of the UPR recommendations titled, ‘Monitoring of the Universal Periodic Review of North Korea,’ (Sponsored by the UniKorea Foundation)

Joint Seminar titled, ‘The North Korean Human Rights Situation: Comparisons with Human Rights Cases in the Former East Germany’ held with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the Institute for Transitional Justice and Integration (ITJI)

ㆍLaunched the first Unification Social Welfare Academy



2016

ㆍJai Chun Lee (former ROK Ambassador to Russia) appointed as 3rd Chairman of the Board of Directors

Ranked No. 16 on Hankyung Business Magazine’s Top 100 Korean Think Tanks in the field of Security and Diplomacy

European seminar on overseas laborers held in Warsaw, Poland, Berlin, Germany, and London, UK

ㆍPublication of An Evaluation Report of the North Korean Human Rights Situation after the 2014 UN Commission of Inquiry Report

ㆍPublication of North Korean Political Prison Camps: A Catalogue of Political Prison Camp Staff, Detainees, and Victims of Enforced Disappearance

ㆍParticipated in a Seminar titled, ‘The North Korean Regime’s Human Rights Record’ at the Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales (inalco) (National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations) in Paris, France

Seminar titled, ‘Changes in the Internal German Borderlands Before and After Unification: Lessons for the Korean Peninsula’

Seminar titled, ‘North Korean Citizens’ Narcotic Drug Use: Situation and Challenges’

ㆍ100,000 entries logged in the NKDB Unified Human Rights Database, 10th Anniversary of the White Paper on North Korean Human Rights

ㆍEstablishment of the NKDB Education Center for Korean Integration (Jung-tae Kim appointed as Director)

ㆍEstablishment of NKDB’s North Korean Human Rights Watch 

ㆍLaunched the first Psychological Counseling Academy



2015

ㆍSeminar titled, ‘The North Korea outside North Korea: Publicizing the state of overseas laborers and human rights’ held in South Korea, Brussels (European Parliament), Washington D.C.

ㆍSeminar held with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation titled, ‘Overcoming 70 Years of Division: Experiencing 25 years of German Unification’

Hosted a discussion at the South Korean National Assembly titled, ‘The Korean War through the Voices of Returned Prisoners of War’

ㆍLaunched support programs for ‘unprotected’ North Korean defectors (North Korean defectors who do not receive governmental support)

ㆍLaunched the first Unification Diplomacy Academy



2014

Professor Jong Hun Park (Korea University Medical School) appointed as the 2nd Chairman of the Board of Directors

Seminar on the ‘Enactment of the North Korean Human Rights Act and the Improvement of the Human Rights Situation in the DPRK’

ㆍResearch begins on South Korean perceptions and discrimination against North Korean defectors

ㆍNorth Korean Political Prison Camp Atlas created with the support of the US Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

ㆍProvision of psychological counseling to victims of torture and assault through funding from the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture (UNVFVT)

ㆍInternational ‘Seminar on the Occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall - Transitional Justice and Social Integration in Unified Germany: Lessons for the Korean Peninsula’ held in September 2014



2013

ㆍSubmission of a report analyzing and categorizing data obtained through investigations on North Korean human rights conditions to the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

ㆍJoint seminar with the Hanns Seidel Foundation titled “International Solidarity for Human Rights in North Korea: Challenges and Tasks” (sponsored by the Ministry of Unification, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and The Dong-A Ilbo)

ㆍLaunch of regular English-language briefings on North Korean human rights for foreign diplomats, international organizations related to North Korea and foreign correspondents in South Korea

ㆍResearch on forced repatriation of North Korean defectors from China and methods for improvement of the situation

ㆍResearch conducted to developed customized policy improvements for the resettlement support system for North Korean defectors



2012

Seminar titled, ‘Comprehensive Evaluation of Human Rights in North Korea and Prospects for Change in the human rights situation in the Kim Jong Un Regime’ 

Seminar titled, “N. Korean Human Rights Case Reports and Violations: Case History and the Human Rights Movement” (sponsored by the Hanns Seidel Foundation)

ㆍEstablishment of a Resettlement Support Center for abductees and prisoners of war in the Resettlement Assistance Headquarters

ㆍResearch on the living conditions of elderly North Korean defectors and development of a support plan

ㆍResearch on the utilization of overseas Koreans to create a foundation for an inter-Korean community



2011

ㆍLaunch of the publishing of the ‘Victims’ Voices’ a North Korean Human Rights Case Report, which had the first mention of the real names of perpetrators of North Korean human rights violations

ㆍInternational seminar with Johns Hopkins SAIS titled, “Strategy for Improving North Korean Human Rights” held in Washington D.C.

Seminar titled, “Evaluation of program development for projects and support to overseas North Korean defectors” 

ㆍPublication of Political Prison Camps in North Korea Today

ㆍLaunch of the first North Korean Human Rights Academy 



2010

ㆍLaunch of research on the economic and housing conditions of North Korean defectors

ㆍSeminar held for a ‘Comprehensive Evaluation of the North Korean Human Rights Situation and Prospects for Changes’

ㆍJoint Seminar held with Freedom House and Johns Hopkins SAIS titled, ‘Current State of North Korean Human Rights and Seeking Measures for Improvement’



2009

ㆍLawyer Woong-ki Kim appointed 2nd Chief Director of NKDB 

ㆍResearch on the state of Political Prison Camps (Presented at the South Korean National Human Rights Commission in 2010, the first South Korean government-commissioned research on Political Prison Camps)

ㆍInternational Seminar on “Developing a Strategy for Improving North Korean Human Rights” takes place at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) 

ㆍHolding of a public debate on the ‘Establishment and Operation of the North Korean Human Rights Archives’ 

ㆍImplementation of pilot program on the social integration of returned South Korean abductees 

ㆍStart of North Korean human rights civic education radio program



2008

ㆍImplementation of the pilot educational program for the social integration of returned Prisoners of War (POWs), Publication of the Integrated Understanding of the Prisoner of War Issue

ㆍImplementation of the group program for improving the adaptation of young North Korean Defectors to school and shaping their career paths



2007

ㆍEstablishment of the NKDB North Korean Human Rights Archives

ㆍPublished the results of the first annual White Paper on North Korean Human Rights Statistics, White Paper on Religious Freedom in North Korea, and Trends in Economic Activities of North Korean Defectors

ㆍImplementation of the national integrated support services project offered for the improvement of mental health in North Korean defectors with PTSD



2006

ㆍResearch begins on abductees, separated families, and female youth defectors

ㆍPublication of the results of the annual North Korean Defector Economic Activity and Trends Survey begins 

ㆍDevelopment and operation of the NKDB Unified Human Rights Database begins



2005

ㆍEstablishment of the Resettlement Assistance Headquarters and NK Social Research



2004
Officially registered as a legal entity with the Ministry of Unification
Construction of the first North Korean human rights violations database, containing 1000 cases,
Development of the North Korean Human Rights Database using HURIDOCS


2003

ㆍOfficial establishment of the Database Center for North Korean Human Rights (NKDB) on May 12, 2003 (Board Chairman Sang Hun Kim, Chief Director Yeosang Yoon)



2001

ㆍInitiation of investigations of human rights in North Korea at the Ministry of Unification’s Hanawon (North Korean defector resettlement center)

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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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