Signed into U.S. law by President George W. Bush on October 18, 2004, the North Korean Human Rights Act is intended to promote human rights and freedom to North Korean refugees by:
- Providing humanitarian assistance to North Koreans inside North Korea;
- Providing grants to private, non-profit organizations to promote human rights, democracy, rule of law, and the development of a market economy in North Korea;
- Increasing the availability of information inside North Korea;
- Providing humanitarian or legal assistance to North Koreans who have fled North Korea.
This summary is from Wikipedia.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004 - Title I: Promoting the Human Rights of North Koreans - (Sec. 101) Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) the human rights of North Koreans should remain a key concern in future negotiations between the United States, North Korea, and other parties in Northeast Asia; (2) the United States should increase its support for radio broadcasting to North Korea; (3) the United Nations (UN) has a significant role to play in promoting and improving human rights in North Korea, and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights' adoption of Resolution 2003/10 on the North Korean human rights situation was a positive step, with additional UN attention needed; and (4) the United Sates should explore the possibility of a regional human rights dialogue with North Korea that is modeled on the Helsinki process.
(Sec. 102) Authorizes the President to: (1) provide grants to private, nonprofit organizations to promote human rights, democracy, rule of law, and the development of a market economy in North Korea, including educational and cultural exchanges; and (2) increase the availability of information inside North Korea by increasing the availability of information sources not controlled by the Government of North Korea. Authorizes FY 2005 through 2008 appropriations.
(Sec. 107) Directs the President to appoint within the Department of State a Special Envoy for human rights in North Korea. (States that such person shall be a person of recognized distinction in the field of human rights.)
Title II: Assisting North Koreans in Need - (Sec. 201) Directs the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Secretary of State to report annually (for the next three years) on: (1) U.S. humanitarian assistance to North Koreans; (2) improvements in humanitarian transparency and monitoring inside North Korea; and (3) specific efforts by the United States and U.S. grantees to secure better monitoring and access.
(Sec. 202) Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) significant increases above current U.S. support levels for humanitarian assistance inside North Korea should be conditioned upon substantial improvements in transparency, monitoring, and access to vulnerable populations throughout North Korea; (2) humanitarian assistance should be monitored so as to minimize the possibility of its political or military diversion; and (3) the United States should encourage other countries that provide food and other humanitarian assistance to North Korea to do so through monitored, transparent channels, rather than through direct, bilateral transfers to the Government of North Korea.
Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) U.S. humanitarian assistance to the Government of North Korea shall be delivered and monitored according to internationally recognized humanitarian standards, be provided on a needs and not political basis, and be made available to all vulnerable groups in North Korea, no matter where in the country they may be located; and (2) U.S. nonhumanitarian assistance to North Korea shall be contingent upon North Korean progress toward human rights protection, family reunification, prison reform, decriminalization of political activity, and disclosure of information respecting the abduction of citizens of Japan and the Republic of Korea.
(Sec. 203) Authorizes the President to provide assistance to organizations or persons that provide humanitarian assistance or legal assistance to North Koreans who are outside of North Korea without the permission of the Government of North Korea. States that such assistance should be used to provide: (1) humanitarian assistance to North Korean refugees, defectors, migrants, and orphans outside of North Korea, which may include support for refugee camps or temporary settlements; and (2) humanitarian assistance to North Korean women outside of North Korea who are victims of trafficking, or are in danger of being trafficked. Authorizes FY 2005 through 2008 appropriations.
Title III: Protecting North Korean Refugees - (Sec. 301) Directs the Secretary to report on the North Korean refugee situation and U.S. policy toward North Korean refugees and defectors, including: (1) an assessment of whether North Koreans in China have effective access to personnel of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and of whether the Government of China is fulfilling its obligations under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees; (2) an assessment of whether North Koreans have effective access to U.S. refugee and asylum processing; and (3) the total number of North Koreans who have been admitted into the United States as refugees or asylees in each of the past five years.
(Sec. 302) States that for refugee or asylum status under the Immigration and Nationality Act, a national of the Democratic Republic of Korea shall not be considered a national of the Republic of Korea.
(Sec. 303) Directs the Secretary to facilitate the submission of refugee applications by citizens of North Korea.
(Sec. 304) Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) the Government of China has obligated itself to provide the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) with unimpeded access to North Koreans inside its borders to enable UNHCR to determine whether they are refugees and whether they require assistance, and that UNHCR donor countries should press China for such access; and (2) should China refuse such access, UNHCR should assert its right of access through arbitration with China.
(Sec. 305) Directs the Secretary and the Secretary of Homeland Security to report annually (for the next six years) on: (1) the numbers of North Koreans admitted as refugees or political asylees; and (2) measures taken to facilitate access to the U.S. refugee program by persons fleeing countries of particular concern for violations of religious freedom.