North Korean Refugees in China: far from freedom

North Korean soldiers in a border guard post are seen from the Chinese side in Tumen, China, January 7, 2016.   © 2016 Reuters

North Korean soldiers in a border guard post are seen from the Chinese side in Tumen, China, January 7, 2016. 

 © 2016 Reuters

Amid current events around Kim Jung Un's threats to launch missiles and general unrest in the Korean peninsula, we are reminded of the increasingly complex nature of international relations when it comes to North Korea. 

A recent Human Rights Watch report on the Chinese government deporting 15 North Koreans has highlighted the fact that for refugees not unlike the ones who come into Crossing Borders' care are far from safe, even after crossing the border into Chinese territory. 

With an agreement to deport North Korean defectors, Chinese officials are all but ensuring punishment, political prisoner camps and "re-education."

Crossing Borders assists refugees who are in this precarious position to find shelter, education and economic support, accompanying them through the many difficulties they find once in China. One example is Ok-seo, a refugee who fled North Korea and found that though safe from immediate danger, she was still vulnerable to hard labor and prostitution. 

To read more about stories from Crossing Borders refugees who have made this journey and how you can support them, click here