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Past Event

Advancing North Korean human rights: The role of civil society

Past Event

The urgency to address human rights in North Korea has never been greater as the international community marks the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea. Nearly a decade after its creation and subsequent report, the Commission of Inquiry was a breakthrough on detailing North Korea’s human rights violations and raising public awareness. Despite North Korea’s missile tests continuing to make headlines, the international community must not forget the dire human rights situation in the country. What role does civil society and NGOs play in advocating on behalf of North Korean human rights? How can civil society in conjunction with governments help revitalize and sustain North Korean human rights advocacy? How have local and global politics affected the direction of human rights advocacy on North Korea?    

On April 20, the Center for East Asia and Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution, Committee on Human Rights in North Korea, and North Korea Freedom Coalition will host Ambassador Shin-wha Lee, for an interactive discussion on North Korean human rights issues. Questions will be taken from the audience at the end of each session. Online viewers can submit questions via e-mail to or via Twitter at #NKHumanRights 

 Registration is required to attend an event in person and guests at Brookings are required to attest to their state of health before attending. Visitors may not enter the building if they are feeling ill for any reason, have any symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19, or have tested positive for COVID-19 at any time in the preceding 14 days. 


Welcoming remarks

Keynote session

Shin-wha Lee

Ambassador for International Cooperation on North Korean Human Rights - Republic of Korea

Panel discussion


Suzanne Scholte

Chair - North Korea Freedom Coalition

President - Defense Forum Foundation


Roberta Cohen

Former Brookings Expert

Co-Chair Emeritus - Committee for Human Rights in North Korea

Closing remarks

Shin-wha Lee

Ambassador for International Cooperation on North Korean Human Rights - Republic of Korea

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