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Keep up to date on the latest for our advocacy and
human rights-based development activities

2011.10.06

Weak 3, Poverty and Human Rights(2): Those behind bars of Poverty by Jinok Park (2011.10.06)

On October sixth, the 3rd lecture of Human Rights Academy was given by Jinok Park, Campaign Director, Amnesty International Korea.Everyone liked the lecture very much for the class provided the attendees with many activities to participate.

2011.09.30

"Jum" Library Opening in Kimpo (2011.09.30)

Opening "Jum Library" for Jumma people, Bangladeshi minority On Friday September 30th, Human Asia (President: Changrok Soh) and JPNK (The Jumma Peoples Network Korea) held opening ceremony for ‘Jum Library’ at JPNK headquarter located in Kimpo. The ceremony started at 3 p.m. Organizers as well as the following sponsors attended the ceremony: Global health NGO MediPeace (Chairperson: Young-seok Kang); BIR Publishing Co., Ltd. (CEO: Sanghee Park); Kinderland (CEO: Jongwon Lim); Monami Co., Ltd. (CEO: Hakyung Song). The attendance of various civil society members as well as religous leaders made the ceremony all the more meaningful. JPNK President Jagadish Tanchangya introduced the guests and thanked everyone for attending the event. Through his welcoming address, he revealed that: "Jum is a local term in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh which stands for slash and burn style of shifting cultivation on hill slopes . Jum is a specific term for the land of Jum cultivation with its ripen products namely paddy, cotton, sesame, fruits and different kinds of vegetables. In the old age, the Jumma people used to compare “Jum” to a market place for its variety of agricultural products. Jummas traditionally live on the food products of Jum. In a metaphoric sense, a library is like a “Jum” filled with intellectual products (books) of different kinds of knowledge that we need in everyday life. Hence, “the Jum library” optimistically will influence on building an insight development, progressive and peaceful society in Korea to be represented and replaced by the Jumma generations to come."The opening of Jum Library is a dream come true for all the Jumma peoples-about 70 of them. He thanked all the organizers and sponsors for their active involvement. In his congratulatory remarks, the President of Human Asia Mr. Soh Changrok said:"This is an meaningful event especially in lieu with the fact that this year is the 60th anniversary of 1951 Refugee Convention. The collaboration of different actors-private companies, human rights NGOs and Jumma peoples-for this initiative, made this event all the more meaningful. My deepest and most sincere congratulations." The congratulatory remark was followed by formal official ceremony of commemorating BIR.co. Ltd.'s and Kinderland's delivery of 1,000 volumes to the library. Official tape-cutting ceremony followed.President Kang Byung-seok of the Kimpo Council for Supporting MigrantsI, President Lee Minyoung of Buddhist Solidarity for Reform and President Ahn Hyosang of Korea Socialist Party each delivered a short congratulatory remarks, which concluded the Session 1 of the event. At Session 2, Ronel Chakma Nani the former JPNK Secretary General briefly introduced the organization's activity, also providing explanations about Jumma Peoples and where they came from, etc. After the brieft presentation by Mr. Nani, everyone shared traditional Jumma dishes, enjoying each other's company.Most Koreans are unfamiliar with the term, ‘Jumma’. They are the indigenous people mostly residing in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region of Bangladesh. As ethnic minority, they account for only 0.7% of Bangladesh total population, with 650,000. During the Partition of India in 1947, Indian subcontinent was partitioned on the basis of religion, Pakistan for Muslims and secular India for non-Muslims and Muslims alike. Despite 98.5% of the population of the Chittagong were Jummas and thus non-Muslims, the Pakistani leadership conspired and the Boundary Commission of Great Britain ceded the Chittagon to East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in violation of the principles of partition and against the wishes of the Jumma people. During Bangladesh’s war of independence with Pakistan in 1971, Jummas sided with Bangladesh’s majority Bengalis. After the independence however, Bangladesh government did not accept Jumma people’s demand for autonomy. Instead, Jumma people are subjected to such human rights violations as land-grabbing, sexual assault, violence and murder, often organized and/or condoned by the Bangladesh government. Escaping from such human rights violations, some of them become refugees in other countries, away from their home.In Kimpo’s Yangchon district specifically, there reside about 60 Jumma people around the JPNK headquarter. 47 of them have already obtained refugee status. JPNK strives to raise awareness on the human rights situations of Chittagong Hill Tracts and Jumma people, seeking solidarity for peace and the promotion of human rights. They maintain close ties with other ethnic minorities residing in Mongolia, Burma, etc. They also advocate for improving human rights of low-income multicultural families. One of JPNK's future projects is Weekend Cultural School , through which children of Jumma community can educate themselves their own languages, Korean as well as other foreign languages; studying of their own culture and Korean's will be also available through the Cultural School. Public lectures on Jumma peoples' human rights anc cultures are being organized as well. Additionally, scholarship funds are being prepared for the Jumma community in Bangladesh. The Jum Library currently holds about 2,000 volumes of Korean language and 500 English languag books. The library will be also used as a place for children to study after school. More donations (books, bookshelves, etc.) are always welcome.

2011.09.30

After Attending the Opening Ceremony of Jum Library (2011.09.30)

September 30th, 2011, the opening day of Jum Library will be remembered as a very meaningful day not only for Human Asia (President: Changrok Soh) but also for me, myself. For Human Asia, the opening meant a lot in that it made a contribution to improving human rights for Asians in Korea through a humanitarian campaign, expanding its field of activity from foreign countries which it had focused more. For me personally, it was more fulfilling than any other projects I had worked on as I could give Jumma refugees visible and practical help. The library was able to be open with the help of many. Two publishers, BIR Publishing Co., Ltd. (CEO: Sanghee Park) andKinderland (CEO: Jongwon Lim), gladly donated one thousand books respectively when they learned that the Jumma refugee children in Korea could not study and read many books under the difficult circumstances. Monami Co., Ltd. (CEO: Hakyung Song), a stationery company, generously offered stationery supplies for the children and MediPeace (Chairperson: Youngseok Kang), global health NGO, had The Jumma Peoples’ Network Korea (JPNK) office wallpapered for free, making the library much more beautiful. The opening ceremony of Jum Library, which held at JPNKlocated in Kimpo on Friday September 30th, had more significantmeaning as not only the organizers and sponsors but also people from various communities and civic groups were present. Most Koreans are unfamiliar with the term, ‘Jumma’. They are the indigenous peoples mostly residing in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region of Bangladesh. As ethnic minority, they account for only 0.7% of Bangladesh total population, with 650,000. During the Partition of India in 1947, Indian subcontinent was partitioned on the basis of religion, Pakistan for Muslims and secular India for non-Muslims and Muslims alike. Despite 98.5% of the population of the Chittagong were Jummas and thus non-Muslims, the Pakistani leadership conspired and the Boundary Commission of Great Britain ceded the Chittagon to East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in violation of the principles of partition and against the wishes of the Jumma peoples. During Bangladesh’s war of independence with Pakistan in 1971, Jummas sided with Bangladesh’s majority Bengalis. After the independence however, Bangladesh government did not accept Jumma people’s demand for autonomy. Instead, Jumma people are subjected to such human rights violations as land-grabbing, sexual assault, violence and murder, often organized and/or condoned by the Bangladesh government. Escaping from such human rights violations, some of them become refugees in other countries, away from their home. In Kimpo’s Yangchon district specifically, there reside about 60 Jumma people around the JPNK headquarter. 47 of them have already obtained refugee status. JPNK strives to raise awareness on the human rights situations of Chittagong Hill Tracts and Jumma people, seeking solidarity for peace and the promotion of human rights. They maintain close ties with other ethnic minorities residing in Mongolia, Burma, etc. They also advocate for improving human rights of low-income multicultural families. Through his address of thanks, JPNK President Jagadish Tanchangya explained that "Jum", the name of the library, was a local term used in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh. He said that for Jumma people who grew rice, cotton, sesame, fruits and vegetables "Jum" was an farming method and an important means of living. And in that sense "Jum Library" was a knowledge supplier which provided Jummaswith intellectual produce that they needed every day, he added. He sent his gratitude to all the parties concerned with the library, saying that the library was a dream come true for around seventy Jummas living in Korea. I felt more affinity when I learned the meaning of the word "Jum." After the book donation and ribbon cutting, everybody came together by sharing traditional Jumma dishes and celebrating the library opening. I felt so great when I looked at the children with big smiles and about two thousandvolumes of Korean and five hundred English books. As I thought that the library would be used as an after-school study room for Jumma children and a resting place filled with knowledge for Jumma people, I was once again reminded that our job, working together to look around the marginalized people in our society and making as many of them as happy, was very much valuable. As a member of Human Asia, I want to continue to pay attention to Asian people with compromised human rights and take the lead to improve them even a little.Ahreum KimProgram Manager of Human Asia

2011.09.29

Week 2, Poverty and Human Rights(1): Poverty and International Develop (2011.09.29)

Jae Kwang Han, Secretary general of ODA Watch, talked about poverty and international development cooperation as the second lecture of Human Rights Academy, on September 29th. You can see everyone is concentrating on the lecture. The 11th Human Rights Academy is awesome!

2011.09.27

[Tuesdays with Human Asia] Off-farm workers in China (2011.09.27)

September Tuesday with Human Asia took place at Korea University GSIS (Room 322) on September 27 at 7 p.m.September Tuesday was made meaningful especially because the lecturer Ms. Hwang Sun-young (Former Researcher at IOM-Korea) was Human Asia's very own program officer during the early days. Ms. Hwang worked at Human Asia from 2006 to 2008. Her lecture had been inspired by her MA thesis from the famed London School of Economics: Human Rights & Citizenship: Stories of Off-farm workers in China" About 30 people (both University studetns and general public) attended the lecture, demonstrating high level of interest in human rights issues. Ms. Hwang's lecture focused on the concept of human rights, its characteristics being simultaneously comprehensive and exclusive. She continued how citizenship rights reinforces such limitations of human rights.

2011.09.23

[Education] Human Rights Education for the Board Members (2011.09.23)

Human Rights Education for the Board MembersThe very first Human Rights education for Human Asia Board members was held at 7 PM on Friday, September 23rd 2011. The President of the organization Changrok Soh explained the basic concept of Human Rights and background of his entry into Human Rights movement. 8 members who have longed to know better about Human Rights attended, making it a chance to get closer to one another.The lecture lasted about 1 hour and 2 and half hour- discussion session ensued. Through this, we can see their passion and interest for Human Rights.

2011.09.22

The 11th Human Rights Academy (2011.09.22)

The Human Rights Academy has started.The awaited 11th Human rights academy has begun on the 22nd of September.All participants learned the concept and the importance of human rights through the lecture, on “The basic concept and understanding of human rights,” which Professor Changrok Soh gave. Professor Soh is a professor at Korea University Graduate school of International Studies and the president of HUMAN ASIA.Secretary General Jeonglim Kim gave a briefly introduced Human Asia. The participants were divided into four groups and decided on their slogans and the name of each team.The Academy will invite guest lecturers from KOICA, ODA Watch, and Amnesty International, etc. and discuss this year's topic "Development, Poverty & Human Rights" in depth.We are very excited about what we will do in Human Rights Academy! So we ask for your close attention on us.

2011.09.13

[Refugee Network] Monthly meeting: August (2011.09)

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

2011.09.01

Human Rights Course Commences at Korea University GSIS (2011.09.01)

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

2011.09.01

HUMA Dolls Campaign for Nepalese children (2011.09)

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?

2011.09.01

Human Rights Course Commences at Korea University GSIS (2011.09.01)

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.

2011.08.26

[Scholarship Ceremony] Dongcheon Foundation (2011.08.26)

「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

2011.08.23

Scholarship Ceremony: Jeong-Am Scholarship Foundation-Human Asia Global (2011.08.23)

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

2011.08.06

YFHA club, Human Rights Education Program Part 2 (2011.08.06)

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.

2011.07.30

YFHA club, Human Rights Education Program Part 1(2011.07.30)

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.

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