Monthly Meeting for Refugee NetworkEvery month, NGOs advocating for refugee rights gather and share stories, each other’s activities. This month, the meeting took place at the office of The Refugee P Nan. Several ideas were suggested to pass the refugee legislation at the upcoming regular session of the National Assembly on September. Suggestions included: submitting statements via Korean Bar Association; negotiating with the authority with all the NGOs’ common concerns. Making special working group on behalf of NGOs was also on the table to set a guideline for different refugees’ cases.Translated by Minjoo Kim_InternEdited by Jooyea Lee_Program Manager, Research & Education Team
Human Rights in Global and Regional Context Organized by Human Asia and Korea University Graduate School of International Studies, 'Human Rights in Global and Regional Context' is one of the educational programs that HUMAN ASIA runs under the program title, 'Human Rights Course'.The graduate level course is part of the regular curriculum at Korea University Graduate School of International Studies. HUMAN ASIA, in collaboration with Korea University opens up the course for the general public, with a view to expanding human rights educational opportunities to those who are not affiliated with formal educational instutions.6 students were selected this year. The 15-week course is conducted in English and so far, the following topics were discussed.[Week 1] What are human rights?[Week 2] International and Regional Human Rights Regimes[Week 3] Non-State Actors and Human Rights[Week 4] International Action and Foreign Policy[Week 5] Human Rights and CultureAfter the midterm in week 8 and Term paper tutorial in Week 9, the course will run as seminar on topics that had not been discussed in previous years. Examples include: Human Rights Storytelling, Transitional Justice, Human Rights and Media Advocacy, etc.Two guest lecturers will appear on selected topics (Human Rights to Peace and Refugee Protection) and one class excursion to MWTV are planned as well. Post navigation
What I experienced in the HUMA Dolls CampaignFirst Story_ Yunju Lee from SAWL For vacation, I started a meaningful volunteer work with UNESCO club, SAWL, which was the ‘HUMA Doll Campaign’. HUMA dolls, deriving from Human Asia, are hand-made dolls which are adapted, or sold, to the sponsors after the makers name them. The money from adoption is spent to help the vulnerable social groups. Our club, in fact, planned to do ‘Brother Doll’ making event a few months ago, but sadly, could not manage to finish it after hesitating too much. However, Human Asia came to support us to participate in doll-making event just in time, persuading all the members of our club to decide to participate in the campaign. At first, it was hard to make clothes for the dolls, and I pricked my fingers with a needle many times because of my clumsy sewing. However, because of the help from instructors from ‘Rucy and friends’, I was able to finish my dolls. My friends from the club all doubted that anyone would adopt the dolls I made, but after all the efforts I had put, I fell in love with HUMA dolls so much that I thought to adopt them for myself if no one would adopt the dolls. After finishing the dolls, we wanted to do a meaningful activity with HUMA dolls, and we came up with a campaign, ‘Let’s adopt HUMA dolls and help Nepalese children.’ Intending to donate money raised from the campaign, we searched for more details about HUMA dolls and Nepalese children. I didn’t have much interest in Nepal before, but as I researched into Nepal, I was surprised to see how serious Nepal’s real situation was. Particularly a picture of a nine-year-old Nepalese girl’s hand, which I found, made me cry a lot. Despite her youth, her hands were full of blisters and wrinkles like those of an old lady’s. I looked back to my past and felt sorry that I complained and whined about things so trivial. Also, I felt guilty that I was too ignorant of the situation in Nepal. I decided to care for countries that received no attention from the press and look for what I could do for those countries. Because I wanted to let my friends and seniors know about the Nepal’s situation, we decided to open an event on the coming Monday and Tuesday. Expecting more people to come and see the event, we chose the place in front of cafeteria where many people pass by. I put summary about Nepal in one page and wrote down the details of HUMA dolls on another page, making two pickets to post before the cafeteria. I also posted a notice on the wall in each classroom. I could not afford much time but it was worth it to be busy posting promotion materials in the early mornings and letting people be aware of Nepal’s actual conditions. On the event day, I dressed in a suit, arranged the dolls, and explained what the event was about to those who came to look around. When students who didn’t seem to have much interest in this kind of matter came to see the event, I could see all my efforts were very valuable. Teachers paid close attentions to our event, and many of them adopted our dolls. Even though many dolls were left out with us at the end, the event, for its own sake, was worthy enough, as it increased people’s awareness of Nepal and HUMA dolls. I hope to participate in such an activity another time and will keep paying attention to Nepalese children. Second Story_ Ye-in Lee from SAWL During the club ‘UNESCO’ meeting, there came up an idea to make ‘HUMA dolls’. I was worried at first, but then I found myself completing a doll with helps from the instructors and my friends. I really did my best to make the doll with red eyes, taking all the needle pricks on my fingers. For we made the dolls on our own, we could not help loving the dolls so much that some of us even called the dolls ‘our babies’ and treated them as our younger siblings. It was not easy to dress up the doll and attach hair to it all at once but it surely was very pleasurable once I finished my doll. When I named the doll ‘Annie’, my English name, I really felt as if I had earned a real sister. First, we decided to display the dolls for adoption at school. Though the adoption cost was 30,000 won, which was quite expensive for students to pay, many warm-hearted students actually bought the dolls hoping to help Nepalese children. The more important thing was that there were many students who decided to help Nepalese children living in difficult conditions regardless of the ability to afford to buy the dolls. It was possible because we related the HUMA dolls to individual Nepalese children, letting friends know about Nepalese children; we actually attached one Nepalese kid’s profile on each doll to make people regard the doll as the child attached. The rest of the dolls will be displayed through HUMA Doll website. My doll was not adopted in the event held at school. I wish she would find a good parent. Now the word ‘HUMA Dolls’ sounds very familiar to me after all I have gone through. By making the doll, I found true love that should be given to the children. I now can love the children, which I’m supporting, even more; I will treat them as not as sponsored children but as ‘brothers and sisters.’ Why don’t you become a big sister or brother for those poor children and give them a true love?
Human Rights in Global and Regional Context Organized by Human Asia and Korea University Graduate School of International Studies, 'Human Rights in Global and Regional Context' is one of the educational programs that HUMAN ASIA runs under the program title, 'Human Rights Course'.The graduate level course is part of the regular curriculum at Korea University Graduate School of International Studies. HUMAN ASIA, in collaboration with Korea University opens up the course for the general public, with a view to expanding human rights educational opportunities to those who are not affiliated with formal educational instutions.6 students were selected this year. The 15-week course is conducted in English and so far, the following topics were discussed.[Week 1] What are human rights?[Week 2] International and Regional Human Rights Regimes[Week 3] Non-State Actors and Human Rights[Week 4] International Action and Foreign Policy[Week 5] Human Rights and CultureAfter the midterm in week 8 and Term paper tutorial in Week 9, the course will run as seminar on topics that had not been discussed in previous years. Examples include: Human Rights Storytelling, Transitional Justice, Human Rights and Media Advocacy, etc.Two guest lecturers will appear on selected topics (Human Rights to Peace and Refugee Protection) and one class excursion to MWTV are planned as well.
「Scholarship Ceremony」 Dongcheon FoundationOn Friday August 26th, a scholarship ceremony for the children of migrant workers as well as refugees was held by Dongchoen Foundation (Bae, Kim & Lee LLC). Amin, recommended by Human Asia, was amongst the recipients. Amin’s family is originally from Burma and now he lives with his family in Gyeonggi-do. About 20 children were awarded the scholarship, which will run for one year in the amount of 200,000 monthly.Human Asia applauds Dongcheon’s endeavor and hopes for a bright future for all the recipients.Translated by Minjoo Kim_InternEdited by Jooyea Lee_Program Manager, Research & Education Team
Scholarship Ceremony: Jeong-Am Scholarship Foundation-Human Asia Global Vision Scholarship 2011 is the first year Jeong-Am Scholarship Foundation (Chairperson: Byungsik Soh) and Human Asia collaborated on establishing Global Vision Scholarship program. Global Vision Scholarship supports those who pursue advanced studies in Human Rights, International Development and/or Cooperation, so that they can become a global leader in the pertinent fields of their choice. About 25 individuals applied for the scholarship and the Scholarship Search Committee members at Human Asia invited five for the final interview. Three were chosen:Jeongtae Kim (Hult International Business School)Hakmin Kim (University of Pensylvania, Non-Profit Leadership Programme)Uk-Beom Park (University of Sussex Institute of Development Studies, Governance and Development) (From left: Jeong-Am Chairperson Byungsik Soh, Human Asia President Changrok Soh,Jeongtae Kim, Hakmin Kim, Uk-Beom Park)For each scholarship recipient, Jeong-Am Chairperson Byungsik Soh offered congratulatory remarks as well as words of encouragement. He expressed satisfaction in Jeong-Am’s collaboration with Human Asia, and expected that the three outstanding would greatly contribute to our society both academically and practically. Jung-Am Scholarship Foundation and Human Asia are planning to collaborate further for continuous expansion of scholarship program, to support more outstanding individuals in the future. Translated by Minjoo Kim_InternEdited by Jooyea Lee_Program Manager, Research & Education Team
On August 6th, Human Asia held an education program for Young Friends for Human Rights (YFHA, leader Geonhwa Song) for the second time and an ending ceremony as well. Students learned how to write a petition and had a chance to actually file one on their own. They had a meaningful time doing group activities and making materials for campaigns. Students were divided into 3 groups and each group was assigned to do campaigns on one of the three issues: demanding the shutdown of Yodeok political prisoner camp, demanding the liberation of Zargamar, and Burmese human rights activist, and urging Japan to apologize to the comfort women and provide reasonable compensation. Students shared their feelings after the campaigns and their opinions on how to create their clubs when they go back to the U.S. after the program ended. I hope these students learned how to pay closer attention to human rights issues, and lead the way to ignite the light of human rights.
The members of Young Friends of Human Asia(YFHA, leader: Geonhwa Song) are young students studying in the U.S., and they came to Korea for summer vacation to attend Human Asia’s global human rights education program. This education program is sheduled twice, on July 30th and August 6th. Twenty students from the U.S. participated in this event, learning the basics of human rights, and developed friendships along the way by participating in campaigns. The first day of the program, July 30th, was especially meaningful for they listened to the lecture, “What is human rights and who is a refugee?,” by Juae Lee, Survey & Research Team, and participated in ‘the HUMA Doll Campaign’ to experience what humanitarian assistance is like. In the upcoming event on August 6th, participants will file a petition for children rights in Nepal, and participate in street campaigns. They will also plan their club activities for when they return to the U.S. Followings are “Models”, the HUMA dolls made by YFHA students.
Human Asia will host more diverse and active campaigns. Human Asia offered an education program on human rights for Young Friends for Human Asia (YFHA, President Geonhwa Song), a youth club consisting of students studying in the US. Twenty students from secondary schools throught the US participated in this program held for two days, on July 30 and August 6, learned basic knowledge on human rights, participated in campaigns, and solidified harmony. On the first day of the program on July 30, Juae Lee, director of department of research, delivered a lecture on “What is human rights?,” and “Who are refugees?” and the students also participated in ‘HUMA Doll Making Campaign. On the second day on August 6, the students learned about petition, wrote a petition themselves, and made campaign materials through group activities. The students in three groups went to Apgujeong Station and carried on campaigns for 1) urge for closure of Yoduk concentration camp in North Korea, 2) urge for release of Zarganar, a Burmese human rights activist, 3) urge for Japan’s apology and compensation for Korean comfort women. After the campaigns, the students shared opinions and feelings and discussed how they would activate their club activities back in the US. Translated by_Eunyong Yang, Ewha Graduate School of Translation & Interpretation
HUMA Doll Making Campaign for Nepalese ChildrenHuman Asia (President Changrok Soh) and Suwon Academy of World Languages (Principal Ikjung Hwang) jointly hosted 'HUMA Doll Making Campaign for Nepalese Children' on Thursday, July 14 in great success.HUMA, the doll's name, came from the first letters of the name of the center, Human Asia. Participants make dolls, name them, and give identity to the dolls after setting up certain circumstances. Then, they adopt those dolls and help vulnerable members of society through profits generated from the adoption.A total of 65 students from Russian majors and students from volunteer group for UNESCO International Cooperation in the academy participated in the event. Profits will be donated to Kathmandu Badikhel Children’s Center (KBCC, President Taewoong Kwon) in Nepal and used for helping the children neglected and abandoned due to poverty and providing education.KBCC, established in 2010, has been providing those children who are deprived of basic protection and education due to poverty or neglect with stable protection and primary education. The center currently accomodates around 100 children. The President Soh and Secretary General Jeonglim Kim introduced Human Asia briefly and explained the purpose of the campaign for the students' better understandingSuwon Academy of World Languages has had continued interest and actively participated in various events hosted by the center. In October 2009, around 100 students joined the street parade aimed at urging lift of house arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi, the heroine of Burma's democratization. In addition, many students participated in the flash mob on June 20 which held to celebrate World Refugee Day. These events are helping raising students' awareness of human rights.Human Asia will host more diverse and active campaigns. Translated by_Eunyoung Yang, Ewha Graduate School of Translation&Interpretation
Making Huma Dolls at Suwon SAWL One of my friends told me about the campaign which aims to connect sponsors with the needy by making dolls while I was looking for the next schedule of International Volunteer Club, SAWL. The campaign seemed like a good idea to attract more sponsors because the hand-made dolls were lovely and touching. The cost was too expensive for most students to participate but thanks to Human Asia, many students could take parts in the campaign with a small amount of money and make HUMA dolls. Finally, on July 14, the first and second grade students from Department of Russian, SAWL and those from UNESCO International Volunteers gathered in one place. At first, I participated in the campaign with a light heart, but soon when Secretary General told us about the harsh reality of the children in Katmandu, Nepal, I felt responsible for making pretty dolls for those children. ACHR was already helping the extremely poor kids in Katmandu, but the number of kids in need was outnumbering, demanding for more support. I decided to do my best to help those poor kids. Though I made up my mind to do my best, I didn’t know what to do when I first held the needle in my hand. I was worried that I might ruin the dolls. However, the instructors, from ‘Rucy and Friends,’ taught me how the dolls become lovely children and answered my questions very kindly. Consequently, I managed to make dolls on my own. Also, with the help of my ‘home-keeping’ teacher, I could even make the pretty clothes for the dolls. When I looked around while needling, even some male students were so immersed in making dolls. We only had two hours to make dolls, but we kept on working on the dolls by making more stuffs like shoes and other accessories and putting the faces on by using studying periods because we wanted to make the best dolls possible. When we were done making dolls, everyone was calling his/her dolls their babies. I could understand why we use the word ‘adoption’ for having the dolls and after naming our dolls we showed our affection toward the dolls by taking pictures with the dolls. It was good to see many students work so hard making dolls. I was really excited to think those beautiful dolls would really help children in Nepal. I think people who adopt those dolls will also be happy to help Nepalese children. I had a very meaningful time making dolls to help others. I am really thankful to ACHR. It was so good to see sixty five students gathered together to make dolls with sincerity. I think that the people would be happy receiving the dolls because we as doll-makers definitely were very happy making dolls. I believe Nepalese children will be happy as well. I hope more and more people become happy and share the happiness with others. Yeseul Kim, a second-year student in Suwon Academy of World Languages(SAWL)
Today, ‘Guest Show on Tuesdays’ was held by Human Asia in Korea University. The lecture’s title was “Migrants, Multiculturalism, and Policy”. Because the lecture was given by Aungtin Tun, executive chairman of Migrant Worker Film Festival, I could learn about the reality of migrants more vividly. One million and two hundred fifty thousand of immigrants are living in Korea now and 52% of them are immigrant workers, 15% are immigrants by marriage, and 10% are children of multicultural family. Although there’re a great number of immigrants living in Korea, Korean people have wrong perceptions and bad attitudes towards the immigrants, giving them difficult times. Most of immigrant workers have to work for 10 hours a day at factories, paid at rates below the minimum wage without worker’s compensation insurance. In many cases, they become illegal immigrants due to the language barrier, and their failure to solve the visa problems. With our absurd assumption about them, the immigrants actually become illegal immigrants regardless of their intention. The thing is that illegal immigrants can’t receive decent medical service when they get into an accident at work. Not only those immigrant workers, but also their children are having difficult times here. When those workers are taken into custody, there’s no one to take care of those children. Sometimes, they are not rejected from formal schools. Many children are ignored or bullied at school just because they’re of multicultural family even when they’re already naturalized in Korea. I felt so bad when I heard about their suffering. When I was asked about my future dream, I used to tell them that I want to employ policies for the needy and the alienated around the world and that I want to work for those people. However, while listening to the lecture, I came to ask myself, “Is it really right to help people in far-away countries before caring of the people around me?” I’ve lived in United States for 2 years, and I experienced the same thing that immigrants in Korea are experiencing but now I’m treating them just as those in the States did. I wanted to communicate with American people, in the United States, and wanted to exercise my right just as they did but now I stayed too well off to remember the past. Immigrants are just like us. They belong to Korea just like us. We can’t put them aside when considering about the future outlook of Korea. They have the same human rights as we do. That’s what my generation should keep in mind as we prosper our nation along with the immigrants. There’s one more thing we need to change, in addition to our perceptions toward the immigrants. We have to improve the current immigrant system, and welfare service. According to the president Aungtin Tun, immigrants were working hard to take back their rights by themselves. Immigrant activists were televising educational programs, multicultural talk shows, and others on MWTV, the major immigrant’s broadcasting channel, for they have the right to know. However, it’s hard for them to change many things by themselves in Korea. Korean government’s support is necessary. Considering the fact that some immigrants, who are married to Korean citizen, suffer from family violence, or feel left out, the government should provide them with community center, police service, and education. Moreover, a program similar to the ESL, a system to help foreign students learn English and adapt to their new environments, should be provided to the immigrants’ children. When such systems for immigrants are implemented in Korean society, we will be able to advance to the sound multicultural society. Hyeongyo Yeo, Suwon Academy of World Languages(SAWL)
On Friday at 10 am, June 24, Jeonglim Kim and Areum Kim, from Asian Center of Human Rights attended the monthly meeting held in Refugee Human Rights Center. Public interest organizations including Refugee Human Rights Center, Dongcheon, Refuge, Medipeace, APIL, and UNHCR, attended the meeting, with one or two staffs from each group, amounting to eighteen people in total.Hotaek Lee, Executive director of Refuge pNan, gave a lecture on the subject of Failed Asylum Seekers. It was a good opportunity for us to think about the problems caused by the unfair and slow procedure of refugee acceptance.In the second part of meeting, we celebrated the success of Flash Mop Event held on June 20th, World Refugee Day. Moreover, we all agreed to plan this kind of event more often because the Flash Mop Event earned much media attention. Although the refugee law failed to pass the National Assembly in June as a celebration of the 60th anniversary of World Refugee Day, we all agreed to push ahead the refugee law again in September.
Celebrating World Refugee Day, the Asia Center for Human Rights joined flash mob events that urged Korea’s national assembly to pass refugee law on June 19th to 20th in Cheonggye Square and in front of Seoul station and the national assembly. The ACHR made meaningful efforts to raise public awareness of refugees with 25 students from Suwon Foreign Language High School and Ewha Girl’s Foreign Language High School in these events, co-hosted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees(UNHCR), Gong-gam, Korean Public Interest Lawyer’s Group, National Human Rights Commission of Korea, Advocates for Public Interest Law(APIL), Refuge P Nan, NANCEN, Dongcheon Public Interest Foundation, Medi peace, Movement Dang-dang, Migrants’ Network TV, Thabyae, and other international organizations and civic groups. Korean citizens and civic groups voluntarily organized a meeting for the flash mob events on June 18th, while both local citizens and foreign tourists joined in and danced to Michael Jackson’s ‘Black or white’.
‘Black Or White’ – Seoul Station Filming and editing: Ganghwa Song, Sunghwa Song Practice –(1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8_UZ8vvnJM Practice –(2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oNEqD6h65c Flashmob 1 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrEb_QvK4A0 Flashmob 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qODKqjKjrnY