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June 30th, 2009
Crossing Heaven's Border
Helping North Korean Defectors

WIDE ANGLE viewers often ask what they can do to help. Here is a short list of several organizations that work to support human rights for North Korean citizens and refugees like those featured in Crossing Heaven’s Border. Those listed below can suggest ways for you to help.

Committee for Human Rights in North Korea
This group of foreign policy and human rights specialists promotes human rights in North Korea, with a focus on closing forced labor prison camps, supporting North Korean women trafficked in China, and fostering a code of conduct for companies invested there.

Based in South Korea, this Christian organization aids North Korean defectors and helps them settle in a safe place. Founder Pastor Chun Ki-won was arrested in 2002 by Chinese police on the Mongolian escape route he pioneered, helping to raise awareness about the plight of defectors. 

Life Funds for North Korean Refugees
This Japanese group staffs shelters along the China-North Korea border and supplies defectors with rice and clothing. It also operates an education sponsorship program for abandoned children whose North Korean mothers were repatriated.

LiNK (Liberty in North Korea)
LiNK is a U.S. and Seoul-based non-profit that raises awareness about the human rights and humanitarian crisis in North Korea through the use of media and grassroots support. It helps refugees by sheltering them, advocating for them, and helping them resettle in countries.

North Korea Freedom Coalition
This coalition of 60 organizations hosts the annual North Korea Freedom Week. It was the driving force for the 2004 North Korea Human Rights Act, and works to ensure it is fully implemented. Private members also provide humanitarian relief inside North Korea and China.

You can suggest other organizations to contact or share your experiences with these groups by leaving a comment.

Disclaimer: WIDE ANGLE offers this list as a resource. PBS is not an advocacy organization, we are not affiliated with these organizations, nor do their views represent those of PBS.

  • Catherine Cirrone

    I was very touched by Crossing Heaven’s Border last night. I would very much like to help Bo Sung. As a mother with a child with a disability, I know how difficult it can be. I have reviewed the organizations listed, and will be in touch with them to help out, but is there any way that I could contribute directly to helping Bo Sung’s family with his medical expenses? Thank you.
    Catherine Cirrone

  • Kimberlee Fenn

    My heart is aching for Bo Sung. If there is a way to assist this child, I would like to know how to do so.

  • austin

    i like chili

  • iana

    the world geography teacher showed these videos in our freshman class. we where all really touched and effected by the content. bo song is a really loving child and i’m happy that he was reunited with his mother. these clips are really fascinating and u learn something u never knew before from them.
    it was a really great experience and it made us want to be pro-active about this topic.

    u need to watch them
    to understand what i mean

  • jasmine

    haha what austin is that(x . . .
    oh! we had chili today for lunch.

  • alexa

    i feel that if we work together, a lot can be done as well as accomplished, this has greatly touched my heart.

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