Millions starved, hundreds of thousands were imprisoned in concentration camps, and tens of thousands crossed borders seeking food, money, protection and even freedom that they never knew existed. That place was, and continues to be, a land with virtually no freedoms - of speech, assembly, religion, movement and more.
This is North Korea, and very little has changed since then. It is the Holocaust of the 21st Century.
In 2001, as more North Korean refugees made the harsh and dangerous trek to free nations, information about the human rights and humanitarian crisis in North Korea began to spread all over the world. Defectors began to testify before major institutions, books were written and reports compiled – all corroborating testimonies of human rights atrocities in North Korea.
In 2004, two passionate individuals learned about what was happening and felt a burden to share with the rest of the world what had gone unnoticed for too long. Educating a group of college students and young leaders about the crisis, together they formed LiNK (Liberty in North Korea) with the hope of spreading awareness and effecting real change. The organization quickly grew and became a movement of activists empowered by the stories of refugees and motivated by the urgency of the issue.
LiNK exists so that one day the crisis in North Korea will not. We operate under a mandate that does not allow us to remain silent about the human rights and refugee crisis that is a result of this emergency. We educate, protect, advocate, provide and empower the North Korean people so that one day they will have the opportunity to live in true freedom. Our roles are to:
EDUCATE: We share relevant stories of North Korean citizens and refugees through creative media, and we promote the truth about the humanitarian crisis inside and around North Korea to the world.
PROTECT: We protect North Koreans in pursuit of freedom, seeking asylum, and in need of assistance- wherever they can be reached.
ADVOCATE: We advocate on behalf of the North Korean people for human rights and fundamental freedoms. We call upon our leaders to do more because we know they can.
PROVIDE: Within the capacity of our resources and mandate, we offer assistance to North Koreans, NGO's, governments, and other partners working toward the same mission.
EMPOWER: We empower refugees with resources, assistance and guidance to reach freedom and to build new lives. We also empower citizens of the world to "take action" and make a difference in their individual lives.Link's work falls into three core categories:
We exist to tell the world about the untold stories of North Korea. Whether it's through a national tour, benefit concert, art show, photo campaign, or a campus wide movement, we will rally the masses through creative mediums to tell the forgotten stories of our North Korean friends. This is where I come into the picture- as a LiNK Nomad, I will be sharing information, raising funds and inspiring others to get involved.
learn more here...
LiNK protects North Korean refugees in its network of shelters and helps them escape from hostile to free countries that will accept them as refugees or permit them transit to a third country. We do not accept any form of payment from refugees in exchange for protection or transit, and every step of the way is entirely funded by LiNK or private donors. Our underground operations are run solely by LiNK staff, and as a purely humanitarian endeavor, we maintain a policy of not working with brokers or human traffickers, or using fake documents.
learn more here...
learn more here...
I hope that has helped explain just a little about this amazing organisation! So now, I'm off. I'm off to work with an organisation that saves lives. An organisation that cares enough about its fellow human beings to make a difference. I hope you will join me on my journey as a LiNK Nomad.