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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Johns Hopkins: North Korean Failure to Protect the Basic Health, Welfare, a Violation of Core International Human Rights Treaty Obligations, New Report Finds

A new report published by the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea finds significant violations of core international human rights treaty obligations. Dr. W. Courtland Robinson, associate professor in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s department of international health, is the report’s lead author.

The report, “Lost Generation: The Health and Human Rights of North Korean Children, 1990-2018,” combines recent interviews with North Korean refugees and asylum seekers in China and South Korea with a systematic literature review and synthesis of more than seven different studies over the past three decades. The analysis found that the education system has deteriorated dramatically, with children performing forced labor for 11 hours a day or longer as an “extension of learning.” Malaria, once practically eradicated, has started to re-emerge as a serious threat to public health of North Koreans. “Given all we know from the data from inside North Korea, the health and human rights conditions of children remain dire, and the situation of North Korea child refugees and migrants is nothing short of calamitous,” Dr. Robinson says.

The report also documents the circumstances and challenges of North Korean migrants and refugees in South Korea and other countries, and concludes with detailed recommendations to the two Koreas, China, the U.S., and the international community.

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