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North Korea under the loupe


Presentation in CDMX on the situation of women in North Korea

Agustín Menéndez, associate researcher at CADAL, expert on North Korea, spoke at the Benito Júarez Auditorium of UNAM in Mexico at the round table entitled »Human Rights: on the situation faced by women in North Korea». Menéndez was invited by Federal Deputy Dr. Cecilia Márquez Alkadef Cortés, President of the Mexico - Republic of Korea Friendship Group, together with other colleagues.

Presentación en CDMX sobre la situación de las mujeres en Corea del Norte

After the opening remarks by Congresswoman Márquez, where she explained the seriousness of the human rights situation of women in North Korea and the human trafficking and sexual violence, Dr. Sonia Venegas Álvarez explained the forms of violence against women such as the patriarchal structure of North Korean society, sexual abuse, mental alienation by not having access to the outside world and the fact that the consumption of cultural products such as South Korean soap operas is criminalized with the death penalty.

Dr. Lourdes Marleck Ríos Nava explained the situation of the country in relation to International Law, the international conventions to which the DPRK adheres and the dissonance between the Law and the reality in its effective compliance.

The first participant in the round table was Lee HanByeol, North Korean activist and refugee, who presented her life story and the present situation of women in North Korea. Focusing especially on the state of vulnerability and subjugation of women in the country based on her own research with her organization together with North Korean refugees, she explained the physical, psychological and sexual violence suffered by women on a daily basis. She gave an account of the sources of work they have to resort to for the subsistence of their families, such as smuggling, working in black markets while the children are left in charge of the mother and, in the case of the men, going to the Army or being public employees. She also provided figures on the number of women who have managed to escape from North Korea, the journey to reach South Korea and the women's recruitment networks that operate on the border to force them sexually or marry them to Chinese.

Dr. Nayelli Lopez Rocha, PhD in Korean Studies from Hanyang University, also spoke about the origins of these inequalities and the Confucian heritage that structures the North Korean family.

Situación de las mujeres en Corea del Norte

Agustín Menéndez gave an account of the general context of the violation of human rights in North Korea. During the dissertation, he emphasized the flagrant violation of Article 33 of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, which establishes the principle of non-refoulement by the People's Republic of China. He also explained the innumerable rights violated by North Korea and the situation of the civilian population in the common prisons, political prisons and re-education camps of Kim Jong-Un's regime.

Trilce Fabiola Ovilla Bueno, who moderated the talk and summarized the contributions of the speakers.


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