North Korean Human Rights,
South Korea’s Defector Aid Programs,
and the
Future of the Korean Peninsula

April 14, 2016, 12:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.

UHM Center for Korean Studies Auditorium


A conference hosted by the Center for Korean Studies and supported by the Core University Program for Korean Studies through the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the Korean Studies Promotion Service of the Academy of Korean Studies (AKS-2015-OLU-2250005).



12:30-12:50 p.m. Registration

12:50-1:00 p.m. Welcoming Remarks

1:00-2:45 p.m. Session 1: North Korean Human Rights

Yeo Sang Yoon (North Korean Human Rights Archives): "The Reality of Human Rights Violations in North Korea: The Victims' Account"

Joanna Hosaniak (Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights): "Status of Women’s Rights in the Context of Socio-Economic Changes in North Korea"

Tae-Ung Baik (University of Hawai'i at Manoa): "How to Promote Human Rights in North Korea"

3:00-5:00 p.m. Session 2: North Korean Defector Aid Programs in South Korea

Young-a Park (University of Hawai'i at Manoa): “South Korean Government’s Policy towards North Korean Defectors”

Jae-hee Cho (Daegu Hana Center for North Korean Migrants): “The Mental Health Status of North Korean Defectors”

Jane Kim (Daegu Hana Center for North Korean Migrants): “North Korean Defector Youth and Children of North Korean Defectors Born in Third Countries”

Young-chul Heo (Empathy SEEDS, Social Enterprise for Exchange, Development, and Sustainability), “Exploring New Avenues for the Social Inclusion of North Korean Defectors through Social Economy”

5:10-5:45 p.m. Roundtable discussion: North Korean Human Rights and the Future of Korean Peninsula



Jae-Hee Cho

Jae-Hee Cho is Director of the Center for North Korean Migrants and the Daegu Hana Center. She has more than seventeen years of experience working on social welfare issues, spanning homeless and poverty issues to the resettlement of North Korean defectors. Ms. Cho has shared her expertise by co-authoring handbooks for practitioners providing resettlement, employment, and mental health services to North Koreans in South Korea. She has been recognized by both the Minister of Unification and Minister of Gender Equality and Family for her work in North Korean defector resettlement. She completed her graduate studies in social welfare at Kyungpook National University.

Young-Chul Heo

Young-Chul Heo is Vice-President of Empathy SEEDS (Social Enterprise for Exchange, Development and Sustainability), which operates the Empathy Guesthouse and Empathy SEEDS Tour agency. He helped found the Center of North Korean Migrants in 2003. After much work and research on the resettlement of North Korean defectors, he has since moved on to explore the social inclusion of North Korean defectors through social economy. By co-founding Empathy SEEDS, he continues to explore ways in which a larger audience can engage in the issue of North Korean defector resettlement and peace on the Korean Peninsula. Mr. Heo has been invited to speak on the budding success of Empathy SEEDS, which is also certified as a "unification model social enterprise,” and completed his doctoral studies in North Korean Studies at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul.

Joanna Hosaniak

Dr. Joanna Hosaniak is Deputy Director of the Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights (NKHR). Prior to joining NKHR, she worked at the South Korean embassy in Poland and the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights. Born in Warsaw, Poland, she majored in Korean studies at Warsaw University (M.A., 1999), completed a six-month human rights course for activists in 2003, and was awarded a Ph.D. degree in international studies at Sogang University in February 2016. She has authored several thematic reports on the human rights situation in North Korea. Joanna was conferred the title of Seoul Honorary Citizen by the mayor of Seoul in 2013 and received the “Bene Merito” Award in 2015 from the Polish government for her advocacy work to establish the UN Commission of Inquiry for DPRK.

Jane Kim

Jane Kim is Secretary General of the Center for North Korean Migrants and the Daegu Hana Center. She manages day-to-day operations and also oversees the academic support and international exchange programs. She has worked on a diverse range of issues related to North Korea, including resettlement, human rights, information environment, and tourism, in the United States, South Korea, and China. Ms. Kim completed advanced Korean language training with the Korean Flagship Program in 2007 and is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced and International Studies.

Sang-Hyop Lee

Dr. Sang-Hyop Lee is Director of the Center for Korean Studies and Professor of Economics at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and Adjunct Senior Fellow at the East-West Center. His studies focus on social welfare issues. He has published numerous articles focusing on population aging, social policies, and economy, with emphasis on Asia and Korea. Dr. Lee received his Ph.D. in economics from Michigan State University and M.A. and B.A. in economics from Seoul National University.

Yeo-sang Yoon

Dr. Yeo-sang Yoon is Chief Director of the North Korean Human Rights Archives and Assistant Professor at the University of North Korean Studies. Dr. Yoon received his Ph.D. in politics from Yeungnam University. He was a Visiting Scholar at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University and has taught at Yeung Nam, Sogang, and Ewha Womans universities. He is also a Teaching Professor at the Settlement Support Center for North Korean Refugees (Hanawon), under the Korean Ministry of Unification. He was a founding co-chair of the Database Center for North Korean Human Rights as well as a founding member of the Executive Committee of the Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights. Currently, he is an Expert Commissioner of the National Reconciliation Committee at the Catholic Archdiocese Assembly, and a Member of the Research and Advisory Committee of the Association of Supporters for Defecting North Korean Residents. He was awarded the Medal of Service from the World League for Freedom and Democracy for his achievements and devotion.