CHINA MUST STOP ‘REPATRIATING’ N KOREAN REFUGEES SEEKING FREEDOM AND OFFER ASYLUM INSTEAD.
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The North Korean regime makes it illegal to leave the country without state permission, but every year thousands of North Koreans still risk their lives to escape a combination of a lack of freedoms and economic hardship; in North Korea these are inextricably linked. If caught trying to escape, or if caught in China and sent back, they are at risk of harsh punishments including brutal beatings, forced labour, forced abortions, torture, and internment in a political prison camp. Those suspected of having had contact with South Koreans or Christians while in China receive the most severe punishments.
North Korean refugees’ well-founded fear of persecution if repatriated means that they should be protected under international refugee law. However, the Chinese government prioritizes its political relationship with Pyongyang and does not recognize them as refugees. Instead they label them as 'economic migrants' in an attempt to justify the forcible repatriation of thousands of North Korean refugees every year.
Their illegal status forces them to work in invisible industries and leaves them vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous employers and sex traffickers, as they have no recourse to any authorities.
By signing this petition, you believe that the Chinese government should stop 'repatriating' North Korean refugees seeking freedom, and should instead give them the opportunity to seek asylum.
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