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Thursday, 15 March 2012
Page: 3144


The following notices were given:

Mr Danby: To move:

That this House:

(1) notes that:

(a) China is a signatory to the United Nations Refugee Convention of 1951 and its 1967 Protocol, and the United Nations Convention against Torture;

(b) the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has been denied access to the North Korean refugee population;

(c) China has a policy of repatriating North Korean refugees to North Korea, returning more than 5000 North Korean refugees every year;

(d) international law prohibits the forcible repatriation, either directly or indirectly, of any individual to a country where they are at risk of facing persecution, torture or death;

(e) babies of repatriated North Korean women are killed through forced abortions and infanticide for being part-Chinese, a practice that clearly violates the United Nations Genocide Convention;

(f) 60 to 70 per cent of the North Korean refugees in China are women, 70 to 80 per cent of whom are without recourse to legal rights or protections and have become victims of sex trafficking, and whose children conceived through rape are considered stateless in China and are vulnerable to trafficking and abandonment;

(g) China considers all undocumented North Koreans as economic migrants, rather than as asylum seekers; and

(h) more than 20,000 North Koreans have defected to South Korea since a famine hit their homeland in the mid-1990s, with almost all of them having travelled through China with the help of Christian missionaries, human rights activists or smugglers, but are still considered by Beijing as illegal migrants, often being rounded up by Chinese police for repatriation;

(2) recognises:

(a) the right of North Korean refugees to be treated according to the United Nations Refugee Convention; and

(b) and encourages the South Korean Government that is protesting the repatriation by China to North Korea of North Koreans; and

(3) urges the international community to meet its responsibility to protect the human rights of the people of North Korea.