Database Center for North Korean Human Rights (NKDB) 

The Database Center for North Korean Human Rights (NKDB) was established in 2003 with the goal of improving the human rights situation in North Korea and to aid the resolution of human rights violations in North Korea, including transitional justice. The activities of NKDB fall into three categories: collection of cases of human rights violations and building-up the NKDB database, improvement of the human rights conditions in North Korea and assisting victims of human rights violations in North Korea.

Ensure that the voices of the North Koreans are recorded 

The most important element of improving North Korean human rights is the participation of the North Korean people themselves as the primary stakeholders. Due to the lack of access provided to human rights organisations to North Korea, NKDB conducts investigations with North Korean escapees who have resettled in South Korea. Those who take part in investigations provide information on cases of human rights abuses they have experienced as well as cases that they have witnessed and heard about while in North Korea. NKDB has interviewed over 20,000 North Korean escapees to ensure that through their participation, North Koreans can act as direct agents for improving North Korean human rights now and in the future. NKDB analyzes the testimonies collected according to an international human rights analysis framework. NKDB has created and operates the Unified Human Rights Database which has over 81,000 cases of human rights violations and entries on over 51,000 individuals related to these cases.

Provide relief for victims of human rights violations

NKDB provides individually-tailored psychological services to victims of North Korean human rights violations who were tortured, assaulted, trafficked, or have undergone and witnessed other serious human rights abuses inside and outside North Korea just because they are North Korean. NKDB provides assistance for those with psychological difficulties or have fallen through the gaps of the welfare system in South Korea through the provision of services through NKDB's professional psychological counselors and social workers. 

Advocate for the improvement of human rights in North Korea  

Based on the data that has been collected, NKDB conducts research and publishes reports to raise awareness on the human rights situation in North Korea. NKDB monitors the state of human rights in North Korea and engages in activities through cooperation with the international community and governments to protect the rights of victims. We collaborate closely with the international community by utilizing the results and testimonies that have been collected and analyzed in the past to identify and validate the North Korean human rights issue as crimes. In order to implement the social obligations for universal, indivisible, and interdependent human rights through a legal basis, NKDB utilizes international human rights mechanisms such as the UPR, human rights treaties and SDGs to ensure that the voices of the North Korean people are included in all processes.

NKDB and the SDGs

Since 2018, NKDB has been exploring the nexus between human rights and the SDGs and its application to North Korea. 

NKDB has hosted workshops and conferences to equip stakeholders with the better understanding of the SDGs as a mechanism and its connection to human rights. NKDB has worked to ensure better understandings of SDGs for stakeholders working on North Korean issues from human rights NGOs, researchers and others working on the ground. 

NKDB has published several reports related to North Korea's implementation of the SDGs and participated in North Korea's Voluntary National Review in 2021.

2021Participation in the High Level Political Forum (HLPF)

2021Understanding the SDGs and their Linkage to North Korean Human Rights Workshop 
(Supported by the UniKorea Foundation)

2020Project Linking the SDGs and North Korean Human Rights 
(Supported by the UniKorea Foundation)

2019The Sustainable Development Goals & North Korean Human Rights Workshop Series 
(In Collaboration with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung)

2019Publication of 'SDG 3: The Right to Health in North Korea' Report and Conference

2018Strategies for Improving Human Rights in North Korea - Linking Sustainable Development Goals to Human Rights' Seminar

33, Changgyeonggung-ro 1-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea 

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