[KS] EU-Korea Human Rights and Democratic Transition Dialogue Programme

Bernhard Seliger bjseliger at yahoo.de
Wed Mar 14 03:53:14 EDT 2012

EU-Korea Human Rights and Democratic Transition
Dialogue Programme

On January 1st,
2012, the ‘’EU-Korea Human Rights and Democratic Transition
Dialogue Programme’’started in Seoul. The project aims at connecting European
and Korean civil society organisationsworking in the
fields of human rights, democracy and democratic transitions, which are basic European and Korean values, shared by Hanns-Seidel-Foundation
and its partners. The main objective of this programme is to encourage the
European and Korean human rights groups to participate in dialogues and
campaigns to fight against human rights violations and to promote policies in the
Republic of Korea (hereinafter referred to as ROK) and the EU regarding the human
rights situation in Asia, especially in North Korea. This will be achieved
through regular exchange and capacity building meeting between European and
Korean civil society organizations (CSOs). Second, this action programme aims
at seeking ways to improve the human rights situation in North Korea (DPRK) at
a regional level, based on the European experience of the Cold War transition. In workshops and conferences European CSO representatives will elaborate
on human rights violations, integration and unification, taking into account
the importance of maintaining peace on the Korean Peninsula and defending human
rights comprehensively. Korean partners in the projects are three organizations
linked to human rights on the Korean Peninsula, namely PSCORE (People for the
Successful Corean Unification), NKIS (North Korean Intellectual Solidarity),
and the North Korea Human Rights
Database Center (NKDB). 
Hanns-Seidel-Foundationis working worldwide to
promote democracy, human rights and economic development. In Korea, Hanns-Seidel-Stiftungis active in
South Korea since 1987 with capacity-building and development activities in a
wide range of fields, among them sustainable rural development, local self-government,
Human Rights and democracy. From the beginning, the challenge of reconciliation
on the KoreanPeninsula
and the preparation for future unification has been part of our activities,
with prestigious partners, among them the Korean Institute for National
Unification and the Ministry of Unification, the Institute for Peace Affairs (Seoul), SeoulNationalUniversity
and others. Human rights questions invariably played an important role in these
experience of Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung is somewhat unique in the sense that it did
not only observe the situation in North Korea through the media, through academic
publications and dialogues, or through the eyes of the defectors, but also has
experience in capacity-building projects in North Korea since 2003 ina wide
field ranging from economic opening to sustainable forestry, biodiversity,
organic agriculture and clean development.
non-profit, non-religious, non-partisan NGO based in Seoul PSCORE strives for
mutual understanding and harmony between the two Koreas and aims to provide a
platform to discuss topics such as democratization, human rights and social
issues, the goal being to bridge the gap between South Korea, North Korea and
the international community. PSCOREwas established in October 2006, by young
North Korean defectors, South Korean university students and foreigners
interested in improving human rights in North Korea and reunifying the
Korean peninsula.
                                    The North
Korea Human Rights Database Center (NKDB) was established in April 2004.The over 23,000 North Korean defectors living in South Korea represent
an important source of information from inside the isolated country.
Simultaneously, a great amount of information about crimes against humanity in North Korea
has become available in the form of testimonies, news media reports, academic
studies, conference papers, and reports by governments and human rights
institutes worldwide. However,
such information has been widely scattered and has often failed to
receive due attention, making it almost impossible to gain comprehensive
knowledge about the crimes taking place in North Korea today. NKDB collects
data on human rights violations and makes this data available to the public.
Of the 23,000 North
Korean defectors who risked their lives to come to South Korea in pursuit of
freedom, there are approximately 500 intellectuals. They include former
bureaucrats and party officials as well as professors, journalists, writers,
physicians, researchers, engineers and teachers under the oppressive North
Korean regime. A large majority of them continued their academic endeavor,
getting a master and doctorate degree at universities in South Korea. North Korean Intellectual Solidarity (NKIS) was launched on October 7, 2008, by 157 defectorintellectuals. Members are committed to NKIS activities aimed at assisting fellow
defectors in settling down in their new environment and at its academic
research on North Korea
and unification.

Dr. Bernhard Seliger
Hanns Seidel Stiftung - Seoul Office
Room 501, Soo Young Bldg., 64-1, Hannam 1 Dong, Yongsan-gu
Seoul, Republic of Korea
Tel.+ 82 2 790 5344
Fax. + 82 2 790 5346
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