NEWS ~ NDP MPs CALL ON HARPER TO STAND UP FOR NORTH KOREAN REFUGEES / ???(NDP) ??? ?? ??? ?? ????? ?? ??? ????

OTTAWA – Peter Julian NDP, MP (Burnaby-New Westminster) presented in the House of Commons a motion M-383 calling on the Government of Canada to put pressure on Beijing to ensure the safe passage of North Korean refugees to South Korea. The motion was jointly sponsored by NDP critic on human rights Wayne Marston, MP (Hamilton East--Stoney Creek).

“There have been countless reports of abuse towards North Korean refugees crossing to China. Their rights should be protected by the UN Convention on Refugees and the 1967 Protocol to that Convention. As a signatory of this Convention, Canada should lead the fight against any party who refuses to provide assistance and support to refugees.” said Julian.

Currently, North Korean refugees that cross into Chinese territory seeking to establish themselves in South Korea are sent back to North Korea to face further human rights violations through interrogations, detentions in labour camps, and even executions. North Korean women that enter Chinese territory hoping to escape the brutalities of the North Korean regime are often sold in China as wives or sex slaves by traffickers and live under the constant fear of arrest and repatriation.

“The government of the Peoples’ Republic of China is failing in its duty to protect the human rights of North Korean refugees who are trying to flee North Korea, “said Marston. “And the Government of Canada is failing these refugees by standing by in silence while their human rights are being abused.”

When North Korean refugees attempt to come to Canada, they should be granted First Asylum status in Canada and placed immediately at the front of the queue. “

The People’s Republic of China is a signatory of the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees and its 1967 Protocol which requires members states to protect those seeking refuge from persecution. Contrary to the fundamental principles of the Convention, Chinese authorities do not grant refugee status to North Koreans.

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