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 Full text 
Thursday, 24 May 2012 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Situation of North Korean refugees (debate)

  Jaroslav Paška, on behalf of the EFD Group. (SK) Mr President, North Korea is one of the harshest dictatorships in the world. Every year, thousands of its citizens who do not share their leader’s official delight at being able to live in his well-fenced reserve try to escape to a freer world. However, their road to freedom only passes through China, where Korean refugees often become victims of trafficking and, Korean women, sex slaves. If they seek the protection of the Chinese authorities, they can expect to be deported back to the concentration camps in North Korea. Our polite but emphatic appeal to the Chinese Government, which has the option of giving priority to the UN Convention on Refugees over the repatriation agreement applied until now, could lead to an improvement in the situation of North Korean refugees. Under international law, refugee status would allow these people to work their way to a more dignified life in the civilised world. For this reason, we are obliged to make use of our foreign policy potential to influence the Chinese administration to stop repatriating North Korean refugees to camps of torture and death.

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