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Human Rights Watch Accuses North Korea Of Child Exploitation, Country Denies It

By February 11, 2017 at 9:34 am
Kim Jong Un (Photo : Getty Images)

North Korea is facing child exploitation accusations from the Human Rights Watch as children as young as seven are forced to work. The organization is urging the United Nations to take action against the oppressive regime.

Research done by the group along with three other South Korean activist organizations shows the North Korean government are forcing children to work rather than studying in schools. Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch's deputy Asian Director says that forcing children to work is considered an abuse of human rights which is condemned worldwide but for North Korean students, work is a part of everyday life.

Party wings like the Korean Children's Union are also forcing children through labor such as farming, construction and collection of scrap material. Meanwhile teenagers, often from poor families are forced to join parliamentary brigades where they work for up to ten years without pay.

The North Korean government has said that they have abolished child labor 70 years ago. Officials are claiming that the children who deemed to manual labor are simply participating in team building exercise for the good of the country. Robertson adds that the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child should demand North Korea to tell the truth about their abusive practices towards children and should immediately stop its abusive ways.

The findings are currently being presented to the United Nations. The findings include evidence from two teenagers who managed to flee from the country. One of the teenagers, Jeon Hyo-Vin, says that she was forced to work in school almost everyday.

Kim Eun-Sol also share the same comments saying that her school forced her to work even before she was a teenager. By the time she reached 13 while her mother was working abroad in China, she became an unpaid worker in a private home as a means to survive.

This isn't the first time North Korea has received accusations of child labor. In December, footage obtained by Daily Mirror shows young children working on a railway track.

For North Korea, these accusations are nothing new where a simple lie could fix the problem. Accusations alone wont stop the children's suffering. But perhaps outside help may be their only hope.

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