The Catholic University of America

Oct. 7, 2016

Democracy and Human Rights on the Korean Peninusla

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) Two events this month will offer opportunities to explore issues pertaining to democracy and human rights on the Korean Peninsula.

Andrew Yeo, director of Asian studies and associate professor of politics at Catholic University, has helped to organize both events, which are hosted by the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies (IPR) at Catholic University.

On Thursday, Oct. 13, at 4 p.m. Katharine H.S. Moon will deliver the annual John Oh Memorial Lecture, “Defectors, Immigrants, and Democracy in Korea” in Catholic University’s Vincent P. Walter Jr. Boardroom in Curley Hall. 

Her talk will focus on South Korea and the increasing numbers of immigrants moving to the region. South Korean society is in the throes of demographic and socio-political change, which will challenge the adaptability and resilience of its young democracy. The growing influx of immigrants into South Korea creates a unique opportunity for Korean society to deepen the meaning and practice of democracy through the social and political integration of these “New Koreans.”

Moon is nonresident senior fellow and was previously the inaugural holder of the SK-Korea Foundation Chair in Korea Studies in the Center for East Asia Policy Studies at The Brookings Institution. She is also a professor of political science and Wasserman Chair of Asian Studies at Wellesley College.

She also served in the Office of the Senior Coordinator for Women’s Issues in the U.S. Department of State. Her research encompasses the U.S.-Korea alliance, East Asian politics, inter-Korean relations, socio-political changes in North Korea, and the role of Korean-Americans in U.S. foreign policy.

This lecture is sponsored by Catholic University’s Department of Politics in collaboration with the Asian Studies Program, Center for International Social Development, and IPR.

On Thursday, Oct. 27, a daylong conference will explore “The Evolution of North Korean Human Rights Discourse and Activism: Domestic and Transnational Dimensions.” The conference will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Catholic University’s Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center, Great Room A. 

The 2014 United Nations Commission of Inquiry Report into North Korean Human Rights (NKHR) brought renewed attention to North Korean human rights. Behind the scenes, a growing network of transnational activists have been responsible for raising the profile of the North Korean human rights issue over a period of two decades. This conference turns the spotlight on these activists in an effort to understand the evolution of North Korean human rights discourse: the contentions, the hurdles and the assumptions underpinning it.
Sessions will cover topics including:

  • States, Institutions, and the Making of North Korean Human Rights Discourse and Advocacy: the United States, European Union, and the United Nations
     
  • North Korean Defectors, Activists, and the (Contentious) Rise of Transnational Networks
     
  • NKHR Discourse on the Korean Peninsula and Asia: South Korea, North Korea, and Japan
     
  • The Evolution of NKHR Discourse and Advocacy and What it Means for Policy
  •  
Invited participants to the conference include academics, human rights activists, think tank policy experts, and former government officials.

Among the participants are:
  • Victor Cha, former director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council under President George W. Bush; Korea chair and senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; and endowed chair at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service.
     
  • Roberta Cohen, co-founder and former co-director at the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement, and former senior adviser to the representative of the United Nations secretary-general on internally displaced persons. She is co-chair emeritus for the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea.
     
  • Frank Jannuzi, president of the Mansfield Foundation. From 1997-2012 Jannuzi was policy director, East Asian and Pacific Affairs, for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, advising Committee Chairmen Joseph Biden and John Kerry. He was also deputy executive director of Amnesty USA.
     
  • Joanna Hosaniak, director of global outreach with Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights.
     
  • Greg Scarlatoiu, executive director of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea.
     
  • Jiyoung Song, director and research fellow for the Migration and Border Policy Project at Lowy Institute for International Policy (Australia).
     
Delivering the keynote will be Stephan Haggard, Lawrence and Sallye Krause Professor of Korea-Pacific Studies at UC San Diego.

Visit the IPR website for a full schedule of events.

This conference was made possible with support from the Korea Foundation and in collaboration with IPR, the Department of Politics, and the Asia Studies Program at The Catholic University of America.

Getting to The Catholic University of America: The Catholic University of America is located on the WMATA Metro System’s Red Line at the Brookland-CUA Metro station. ***Please note that due to WMATA Safe-Track efforts, there may be delays on the Red Line. Please check Metro Safetrack for more information. Parking is available at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception parking lot on the corner of Harewood Rd. NE and Michigan Ave. NE. Click here for a map of the CUA Campus
For disability accommodations please contact Lydia Andrews at cua-iprstaff@cua.edu or 202-319-5999

MEDIA:         To schedule an interview with Andrew Yeo or to attend these events, members of the media must notify the Office of Communications and Marketing at cua-public-affairs@cua.edu or 202-319-5600.

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