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B’nai Brith Canada Commemorates Human Rights in North Korea Day

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A military parade in Kim Il-Sung Square, Pyongyang (Associated Press).

September 28, 2023

OTTAWA – On this 10th annual Human Rights in North Korea Day, B’nai Brith Canada is calling on the Government of Canada to take further action against dictator Kim Jong Un’s despotic regime.

The Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea (DPRK) is an authoritarian state that spends most of its money expanding its military arsenal, investing next to nothing on services for its civilian population. The DPRK is increasingly relying on forced labour, often of children, to subdue and exploit its people.

Anyone in the DPRK who objects to the regime’s gross human rights violations risks imprisonment – often along with their families – torture, and even execution.

For these reasons, B’nai Brith is proud to support the Council for Human Rights in North Korea’s (HRNK Canada) call for the Government of Canada to adopt MP Judy Sgro’s motion M-94: A Human Rights in North Korea Act, a resolution originally introduced in 2015 by the Honourable Irwin Cotler, former MP and Canada’s Special Envoy for Combatting Antisemitism. This important motion would, among other things, lead to the creation of a Special Envoy for Human Rights in North Korea and expedite asylum applications for those fleeing the country.

B’nai Brith Canada was approached by HRNK Canada to support their worthy efforts following our July 2023 Canada Action Now (CAN) conference. Since then, they have asked for our assistance in persuading Parliament to take steps to hold the DPRK accountable, and B’nai Brith is honoured lend them our support.

“Defending the human rights of the oppressed people of North Korea is Canada’s responsibility as a free, democratic country with respect for the rule of law,” said Michael Mostyn, B’nai Brith Canada’s Chief Executive Officer. “We applaud HRNK Canada for its steadfast commitment to this meritorious cause. Canada’s existing programs for victims of the regime are sorely lacking, and we hope that the House of Commons will unanimously support MP Sgro’s motion at its earliest opportunity.”