Hyunsook Oh: Human Trafficking In North Korea

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Hyunsook Oh was one of the many North Korean woman who successfully escaped their country through human trafficking, and are typically serving as wives to Chinese farmers. Their day-to-day tasks include doing housework, working in the field, and fulfilling their “husbands’ ” sexual desires. It is a vast system of human trafficking that is characterized to be a modern version of the slave system. So, what conditions led Hyunsook Oh to such predicament?

Hyunsook Oh lived in North Korea not far from the border with China. She was surviving off of little to no food like the rest of the country. Hundreds of thousands of North Koreans died due to chronic famine and food shortages in the 1990s. Imagine the entire city of New York suffering with
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She begged a Korean Chinese man to sell her. She chose to exist as a property and gave up her the only right she had in North Korea— the right to be a nationality from Article 15 by the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

North Korea abandoned her. The government was actively hindering food aid from its people, which is a violation of ones right to food. Moreover, North Korea violated Article 25 (1), which states that “everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services…”. If Hyunsook Oh had access to food in the first place, she would not have endanger her life by crossing the border in search for food.

Remember that we in a developed country are beyond lucky. When we have cravings, a trip to a 711 a block away will solve it. Much of the world struggles to barely get enough nutrients to maintain their health. The North Korean government puts its population at higher risks for diseases that are easily treatable with nutrients from food. It’s simple. Malnutrition suppresses the functions of one’s immune system. While the ordinary population suffers with food shortage, the ones in power are most likely eating whatever they want whenever they want. The discrimination to unequal access to food is truly disturbing. What is the point to stay in a country
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We all know that this is practically impossible given the current regime. However, I do believe that the rest of the world can do much more to help with human trafficking as a result of North Korean’s Dictatorship, such as offering formal shelters for those crossing the border. As to the right to freedom of movement, it requires policy changes within the state. The truth is that the North Korean government has been violating human rights for decades. Actions were taken to change this cruel reality. However, the threat that the North Korean government poses to the rest of the world hinders the efforts. Nevertheless, if all the world unites and avoids the temptation of being a bystander, chances are North Korea will respond accordingly.

Another way to fight this type of human trafficking would be to secure the Chinese-North Korean borders. Again, if the conditions in North Korea remains the same, women and children’s incentive to leave will still be present. Therefore, it is on North Korea to convert into an open economy where food can enter the country freely. For this to come true, it would most likely require the abolishment of an entire

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