Minnesota entrepreneur and former Regent of the University of Minnesota, Hyon Kim and a team of volunteers have been working for many months on a conference bringing top leaders from South Korea and former refugees from North Korea to help educate Minnesota and the nation on the plight of refugees from North Korea. To date only 186 North Korean refugees have been admitted into the USA. The conference will explore why and possible strategies to change this situation. Hyon Kim was originally from North Korea and was separated from her parents and siblings when she was 4 years old. According to Kim there are over 200,000 North Korean refugees in China. Many walk hundreds of miles to Laos and Thailand in the search for safety and freedom.
“About 70 percent of these people are women and children, vulnerable to crime and human trafficking, including sex trafficking and forced marriages,” said Hyon Kim. “I have sat awake many nights and tried to come to terms with this number and the growing human rights crisis these lives represent.”
Among presenters are Jack Rendler, a well known expert on North Korean Refugees, Chang-Soo Kim, the Korea National Strategy Institute, Sang-Hoon Lee – production designer and film director, Heejung Jang – staff writer of Now On My Way to Meet You, Praise Ju (Joo Yang) – North Korean defector and Jin-Ho Kim – president, YaenInBang Professional Theater Troupe.
Congressman Ellison and Senator Pappas will participate with other leaders will bring visibility to this issue. Minnesota will proclaim October 19, 2015 as Human Rights Day for North Korean Refugees.
Details and one minute video on the event is below:
Monday, October 19, 2015 8 a.m.to 4 p.m. Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
Details and registration at: http://www.freedomrefugeesmn.org/
Below is a one minute video on the conference