UCAN needs your support
You are why we do what we do - report, describe, comment, review. It is to bring to your eyes just what life is like for believers across Asia that we publish UCAN.
But as you know, the effort needs to be sustained if it is to have continuing effect.
UCAN publishes some 150 stories a week in four languages across six websites. We are grateful to benefactors in Europe and the US who support us. But those countries and the Church there are under increasing financial strain and their generosity no longer covers our costs.
We need financial help from our readers to sustain our efforts. Our reporters, editors, video producers and photographers all have families and we need to support them. They do excellent jobs, but they can't do their jobs for nothing.
Will you help us to sustain UCAN? Please click here to help.
Thanks in anticipation.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Coalition aims at rights in North Korea
Concerted approach 'the only way to stand a chance of securing change'
- Mike MacLachlan, London
- United Kingdom
- September 8, 2011
The International Coalition to Stop Crimes Against Humanity in North Korea is made up of 40 rights organisations from Asia, Europe and the Americas, including Amnesty International and the International Federation for human rights.
Its launch follows a conference in Tokyo yesterday attended by the constituent groups and legal experts from the Aegis Trust and the International Center for Transitional Justice.
The conference was opened by Benedict Rogers, the London-based East Asia team leader of the rights group Christian Solidarity Worldwide.
â€śThis is an historic initiative,â€ť he said, â€śthe first time so many people from so many different organizations from such a broad range of countries have come together, not only for a conference on North Korea but for a cause: stopping crimes against humanity in North Korea.
â€śNorth Korea is one of the worst human rights situations in the world â€“ and one of the most overlooked.
â€śIt became clear to me that we would only stand a chance of securing the change we want â€“ an end to the regimeâ€™s crimes against humanity â€“ if all of us, around the world, unite and work together.â€ť
The issue needed to be internationalized, he added. It was no longer merely a regional issue. â€śThese are crimes against humanity and all of humanity must be involved.â€ť
â€śThe time has come for the UN to establish a commission of inquiry to investigate crimes against humanity that characterize North Korea today,â€ť said Phil Robertson,
deputy director of the Asia division at Human Rights Watch. â€śWe demand the world pull back the curtain on the egregious human rights violations that make the North
Korean Government one of the most brutal regimes on earth.â€ť
Lord Alton, a Catholic and chairman of the UK's all-party parliamentary group on North Korea, praised the international scope of the coalition.
â€śWhat is needed with North Korea is a contemporary equivalent of the Helsinki process we pursued with the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War,â€ť he said in a statement of support.
This would combine â€śinternational pressure, an uncompromising alertness to security concerns, and a constructive, critical engagement in which human rights are placed firmly on the table.â€ť