SLAVES TO THE SYSTEM: Locating Responsibility for Forced Expatriate Labour Practices by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)

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This project consists of two clearly distinguishable parts. The first part is the research or academic part, centering on quantitative and qualitative aspects of North Korean expatriate labor (especially but not exclusively in the EU) and the way export labor (and the economic fruits it yields) is structurally connected to the systemic workings of the DPRK state.

The second part is closely related to the first part, but qualitatively and organizationally different. It builds on the results of the academic research outcomes of the first part and will feature an effort to apply these in EU courts. Both parts are connected through the object under investigation (DPRK export of labor, whether academically or legally), although in execution both parts will be kept separate in order to guarantee academic rigour.

The academic part of this project is coordinated by the Leiden Asia Centre. The legal part is coordinated in cooperation with EAHRNK, New Focus and possibly other partners such as human rights organizations or labour unions.

Project team:

Prof. dr. Remco Breuker on behalf of Leiden Asia Centre

Imke van Gardingen – Korean studies specialist & Employment law lawyer

Professor Klara Boonstra – Professor of International Labour Law at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Christine Chung – Senior Advisor to the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea

Dr. Kim Kwang-cheolNorth Korean Studies specialist

Kyuwook Oh, LLM – Researcher & Project manager

Michael Glendinning – Director of EAHRNK

Marte Boonen – Research Assistant

Anoma van der Veere – Research Assistant