History

Officially established in 2003, NKDB has made it its mission to advance the human rights of the North Korean people.



2022

ㆍUN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture support project renewed for an 9th year

ㆍLaunch of the NKDB Center for Human Rights Legal Support

ㆍLaunch of the North Korea SDG Data Portal

Publication of the English Translation of Prisoners in Military Uniform: Human Rights in the North Korean Military

ㆍLaunched of Seasonal Academies in the NKDB Education Center for Korean Integration (North Korean Education, Religion in North Korea, Psychological Understanding)

ㆍRelease of the Korean Translation of The North Korean Conundrum: Balancing Human Rights and Nuclear Security (in conjunction with Stanford University)

ㆍLaunch of the HappyPlus Financial Mentoring Program

ㆍLaunched the first Inter-Korean Integration Academy



2021

ㆍUN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture support project renewed for an 8th year

ㆍEstablishment of the NKDB Scholarship Association

ㆍConstruction of the Perpetrator Database

ㆍHeld a two-day workshop titled, "Understanding the SDGs and its Linkage to North Korean Human Rights"

ㆍPublication of The Human Rights Guide to DPRK's SDGs

ㆍPublication of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea 2021 Progress Report on the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals

ㆍ Held a conference titled, "Seeking Accountability and Collecting Data on Perpetrators of Gross Human Rights Violations in North Korea"

ㆍLaunched the first Unification Law Academy



2020

ㆍUN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture support project renewed for a 7th year

ㆍYoung 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 Sik 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

ㆍRelaunch of the North Korean Human Rights VISUAL ATLAS

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, SDG 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 

ㆍKorean publication of report titled, Prisoners in Military 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

ㆍRanked 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 Functions

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 escapees (North Korean escapees who do not receive governmental support)

ㆍLaunched the first Unification Diplomacy Academy



2014

ㆍProfessor 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 escapees

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 escapees from China and methods for improvement of the situation

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



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 escapees and development of a support plan