Stories Filed Under “Human Rights”

Upcoming Events at USKI

The U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins SAIS presents

Lost and Found in Uzbekistan:

The Korean Story

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Reception beginning at 6:00 PM

Johns Hopkins SAIS, Rome Auditorium

1619 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20036

Featuring: Victoria Kim, Beijing-based writer and multimedia producer

Moderated by: Jenny Town, Assistant Director, US-Korea Institute at SAIS

Click here for more information and to RSVP

Lost and Found in Uzbekistan: The Korean Story

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 – Lost and Found in Uzbekistan: The Korean Story

Unfinished Apologies: Imperial Japan’s Sex Slaves of Wartime Asia

The U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS and Asia Policy Point present

Unfinished Apologies:

Imperial Japan’s Sex Slaves of Wartime Asia

March 1, 2016
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Kenney Auditorium
1740 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036

The US-Korea Institute at SAIS and Asia Policy Point invite you to attend a discussion on the unexamined and unresolved history of Imperial Japan’s system of sex slavery in wartime Asia. The panels will provide an overview of how the system came to be and how it was managed, discuss new research on the non-Korean Comfort Women, and bring the legacy of the Comfort Women system into contemporary understandings of conflict resolution and violence against women in warfare settings.

Panel 1: Framing the Comfort Women History – Japanese Comfort Women and their Antecedents

  • Caroline Norma, lecturer in the Master of Translating and Interpreting degree in RMIT’s School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, Melbourne, Australia
  • Discussant: Katharine H.S. Moon, SK-Korea Foundation Chair in Korea Studies and senior fellow at the Brookings Center for East Asia Policy Studies

Panel 2: The Comfort Women of Japan’s Occupied Asia 

  • Griselda Molemans, Dutch researcher and investigative journalist, founder of the Task Force for Dutch Indies War Reparations (Dutch acronym: TFIR; Task Force Indisch Rechtsherstel)
  • Hilde Janssen, Dutch Journalist and author Schaamte en Onschuld[Shame and Innocent] and Troostmeisjes/Comfort Women
  • Peipei Qiu, Professor of Chinese and Japanese on the Louise Boyd Dale and Alfred Lichtenstein Chair, Vassar College
  • Evelina Galang, Professor of English, University of Miami
  • Caroline Norma, RMIT, Melbourne, Australia
  • Moderator: Yukiko Hanawa, Department of East Asian Studies, New York University

Keynote: Women in warfare, how far have we come?

  • Taina Bien-Aimé, Executive Director, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women

Book signing with authors:

 Please RSVP here:

The event will be webcast here.

Unfinished Apologies: Imperial Japan’s Sex Slaves of Wartime Asia

Tuesday, Mar 1, 2016 – Unfinished Apologies: Imperial Japan’s Sex Slaves of Wartime Asia

U.S. Policy Toward North Korea

The International Bar Association (North America), Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, Defense Forum Foundation, North Korea Freedom Coalition, The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, US-Korea Institute at SAIS, and the Yonsei Center for Human Liberty and Freedom House present a conference to discuss the importance of making human rights a central pillar of U.S. policy toward North Korea.

U.S. Policy Toward North Korea:
The Case for Instituting a More Effective, Human Rights-Centric Approach

Justice Michael Kirby
Chair of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea

Tuesday, October 27, 2015
*Reception from 5:30-7:00pm

Kenney Auditorium
Johns Hopkins SAIS
1740 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036

The conference will bring together decision-makers on Capitol Hill and in the Administration, as well as civil society, to discuss U.S. policy toward North Korea.  A keynote speech will be delivered by Justice Michael Kirby, who was appointed by UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon to chair the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea. (Please click HERE to read the Commission’s landmark report.)

Conference topics will include:
(1) the current human rights situation in North Korea,
(2) existing and proposed sanctions directed at the North Korean regime
(3) accountability measures for past and ongoing human rights violations in North Korea, and
(4) indigenous and cross-border activities aimed at advancing human rights in North Korea.

Please RSVP here:

Full agenda can be found HERE.



North Korea is a country of extremes. It is home to the longest running human rights disaster in modern times.  It also is among the world’s worst proliferators of weapons of mass destruction.  Further, it is a profoundly destabilizing force in the increasingly turbulent, but strategically vital East Asia region.  Has the decades long “security first” approach toward North Korea, which de-emphasized human rights concerns in the hopes of advancing security related goals, been successful?  Many have argued that a pivot to a more human rights-centric policy is not only a more principled approach to the North Korean challenge, but is a more effective one as well.  The regime’s extreme reactions to discussions about its human rights record, especially since February 2014 when the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea issued its landmark report on human rights, suggests that focusing greater attention on human rights may be an important and under-exploited source of leverage.

Already, there is strong bi-partisan Congressional support to address more forcefully North Korea’s human rights record, as evidenced by proposed sanctions bills currently under consideration in the House and Senate. Given that less problematic countries, including Zimbabwe, Burma and until recently Cuba, are more heavily sanctioned than North Korea, might passage of tougher sanctions bring greater coherence to overall U.S. sanctions policy?

We look forward to seeing you on October 27 and to hearing diverse views on the most effective ways to address one of the most acute and longest running human rights crises of the last half century.


U.S. Policy Toward North Korea: The Case for Instituting a More Effective, Human Rights-Centric Approach

Tuesday, Oct 27, 2015 – U.S. Policy Toward North Korea: The Case for Instituting a More Effective, Human Rights-Centric Approach

Film Screening: The Last Tear

The U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS and Fading Away LLC present

The last tear image

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The United States Navy Memorial
701 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20004

The U.S.-Korea Institute and Fading Away LLC invite you to the debut film screening of Director Christopher H.K. Lee’s latest documentary, “The Last Tear.” The screening will be followed by Q&A with the producer and a reception.

1:00 Opening remarks
1:15  Film screening
2:15  Q&A with director
2:45  Reception

The screening is free and open to the public. Please RSVP here.

About the film:


TheLastTear_poster_Navy02Sexual violence against women has accompanied almost every large-scale conflict, yet most of its victims are silenced. One such sad episode is that of the “comfort women,” or more accurately, the estimated 200,000 women who were recruited to sexually serve the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. As part of this immense system, many young women from all over Japan’s occupied territories in Asia were forced into service where they faced rape, torture and extreme violence at military camps, euphemistically termed “comfort stations.”

Since the early 1990s, the testimonies of these women shocked the world, and were eventually taken up as a serious human rights issue by the United Nations, a host of governments, and numerous independent NGOs. Taking a different approach, we aimed to listen to and gauge the true feelings of some of the few remaining survivors, believing that the sea of mass media and politics is largely drowning their voices out. We sought to hear their true wishes.

As part of our Fading Away documentary series, we hoped to give a voice to these women and search for a form of healing. We traveled thousands of miles to visit the historical locations and met with the some of few remaining survivors. Along the way, we became witnesses to the scars left on their bodies and souls.  Our journey brought us to Japan, Korea, China and Taipei to meet with several experts, museums and NGOs. Our team gained great insight on this controversial issue that is still widely unknown to the rest of the world.

Now into their 80s and 90s, these women are becoming weaker day by day and we believe that such traces of painful memories and tragic stories may never be healed. But by remembering them and embracing them, we will provide a step towards their ultimate closure.

Our film’s purpose is to share the emotions of the past and to connect our generations in a more personal and humanistic way. Through understanding the faults of the past, we allow them to never be erased, and prevent them from happening again.

Movie website: The Last Tear

About the director:

Christopher H.K. Lee is an award-winning filmmaker/writer/publisher and media artist. He has over 27 years of multi-cultural and diverse industry experience in the fields of architecture, interactive media, visual effects and animations as a director/producer and over ten years of lecturing experience at colleges in both South Korea and the U.S.  Mr. Lee has produced many feature and short films, including several others that raise awareness of Korean history, culture and current affairs titled “I am Grace,” “Rescued by Fate,” and “Fading Away.”


fading away logo