According to Human Rights Watch, about 80 percent of North Korean refugees, particularly women and children, are victims of human trafficking in China. The refugees are eventually sold as sex slaves or forced to marry Chinese men. Many North Korean women in China live with these Chinese men in de facto marriages and remain vulnerable to repatriation. Once they are sent back to North Korea, chances are small for them to return alive. Also, the children of these North Korean women and Chinese men are denied access to legal residency, elementary education and national health care in China, since their mothers are not legal residents and their fathers usually don’t take on parental responsibilities. Despite these children’s existence, they are non-existing socially.
This summer, I was able to meet some of these non-existing children in China through volunteering, managed by South Korean Christian groups. Before my visit to China, I thought North Koreans were irrelevant to my life. It was difficult to accept that we shared the same national identity and to view reunification as an indispensable matter. However the children I met, looked like us, spoke Korean, laughed and sang ‘Arirang’ like us. I could not help but admit that regardless of the “North” and “South,” Koreans are Koreans.
Tragically, there isn’t much we can do for the these children. However, why don’t we at least try to understand their sufferings by watching this documentary film? I believe it is a big start to understand fellow North Korean students just by showing more concern. I strongly encourage you to let go of your depressions and step forward to make changes in the world with the warm heart and strong will of Scranton!
♦The writer’s view in this section can be different from Ewha Voice’s view.