In today’s world, people are becoming more aware of the violation of human rights in various parts of the world. One of the people who have come into prominence in this area is a woman named Yeonmi Park, a North Korean defector. A human rights activist, she has became well known for her speeches on the subject.
Born in North Korea on October 4, 1993, she was fortunate to have a family that was wealthy by the country’s standard. However, this ended when her father was arrested for illegal trading and was sentenced to prison. This caused a hardship that started her on the road to understanding the plight of people who were suffering under the North Korea leadership.
After her father was released from prison, a plan was put in place to escape to China. This escape was formalized with the help of North Korean human trafficker brokers who were able to smuggle them out of the country and into China. Their sister Eunmi had already left and their father, who was ill, remained behind.
In 2007, they were established in Seoul and her father was smuggled into China. Unfortunately, it was discovered that he had cancer and soon passed away. Yeonmi Park relates that they were unable to provide him with a proper funeral and he was buried on a mountainside.
It was with the help of missionaries that Yeonmi and her mother were able to survive in China and eventually arrived in South Korea, by way of Mongolia, in 2009. In South Korea, they were able to find employment in a shop and restaurant. At that time, Yeonmi furthered her education by attending the Dongguk University in Soul.
Because of her experiences with the North Korea government, Yeonmi became an advocate for North Korean human rights on amazon. Joining with other North Korean activists, she has worked tirelessly to educate people regarding the need to support refugees from that country. She has become well known for her articles, interviews, and other forms of support in assisting North Korean refugees hiding in China relocate to South Korea. She is especially active with an organization called LiNK (Liberty in North Korea), which assists in refugee relocation efforts.
The U.S. Declaration of Human Rights states: “Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebel against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.” The dictionary states that human rights are “a right that is believed to belong justifiably to every person.” Today the world is becoming more conscious of the violation of human rights that is being practiced throughout the world, including North Korea.
Yeonmil is an excellent example of what one person can do to aid people who are being unfairly treated by those in power and continues to work toward advocating human rights for North Korea’s citizens.