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YEONMI PARK: A HUMAN RIGHTS CHAMPION

North Korea, a nation with a disturbing history of dictatorship and a poor human rights record. The respective government regimes of the last five decades have exercised policies that have created discontent on the international arena. Diplomacy has failed, and the country is isolated from the rest of the world as far as media is concerned. The citizens of North Korea are the most oppressed people in the world. The dictators of North Korea have had their way for decades.

One of the nightmares for the current North Korean regime presents itself in the form of a diminutive 21-year-old human rights activist Yeonmi Park. She is the global ambassador for the oppressed masses of the North Korean Republic. Yeonmi has a painful yet inspiring story of resilience and determination. She is a role model for women around the world. Her life experience mirrors the common saying that what doesn’t kill you only serves to make you stronger.

She resides and studies criminal justice in South Korea. The world knows her for the advocacy and campaigns shedding light on the harsh conditions the people of her country endure. Hers is a campaign for empowerment and liberation.

She desperately escaped her native country aged 13 in the company of her isolated family. They sneaked into China where her father passed away, and they almost got deported back to North Korea. Her family’s stay in China was brutal. She lost her dad and had to experience a painful raping act on her mother. Death was imminent, and her family had no other option but to cross the unforgiving Gobi desert to get to South Korea.

In her narratives, Yeonmi acknowledges how she had developed a wrong opinion of life in other parts of the world based on her experience in North Korea. In her country she says people have no access to fundamental rights and freedoms. As a child, she was accustomed to brutality and inhuman treatment of her people. Such experiences have only worked to strengthen her resolve today. Yeonmi’s new book “In Order to live” on Amazon sheds light on her traumatizing experiences and painful journey to freedom.

Yeonmi travels across the globe raising awareness of the crimes against humanity levelled against the people of North Korea by their government. Her campaign has been embraced by social media especially Youtube where her emotional speeches are famous. Ms. Park’s sworn purpose in life as she explains is to shed light on the darkest place in the entire world. Her testimonies add credibility to UN findings and reports on North Korea.

Many accusations are being levelled against her. She became a defector in her home country with the government using the media to discredit her efforts. However, this is a cheap price to pay for a very young girl with such a huge public appeal and profile. She is relentless and unmoved in her efforts. It goes without saying that this young woman is an inspiration to people around the world to refuse oppression and fight for their rights.