I believe that Washington University School of Law is the place for me to begin my career as a human rights lawyer for North Koreans because the core values of WASHU and mine are in accord since I want to be a human rights lawyer, the degree of school‘s devotion to human rights protection is the most important criterion for my school selection. For me, Washington University School of Law‘s Whitney R. l-Iarris Law Institute is convincing proof of this school‘s dedication to human rights the Institute pursues the betterment of the world through research, education, the promotion of the rule of law, and actual grappling with the problems that require international cooperation.
‘ Of its many contributions to the improvement of human rights conditions throughout the world, its most notable program for me is the Crimes against Humanity Initiative. The Initiative has worked on the creation of a comprehensive convention on the prevention and punishment of crimes against humanity, as a means to eventually establish a binding treaty on this issue.
It has already proposed the International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Humanity, the first of this kind on release, the Convention‘s article 2 states the objects and purposes of the document. It calls for the investigation, and if necessary, for the punishment of human rights violators because human dignity is inviolable. Article 2 expresses not just the institute’s goal; it also echoes mine as well. I want to be a human rights lawyer for North Koreans because North Korean human rights violators should meet their deserved end Egregious human rights violators of North Korea are no doubt committing crimes against humanity human rights abridgments taking place in North Korea exactly match the definition of crimes against humanity in the Initiative‘s Convention article.
ln everyday lives, particularly in political prison camps, murder, enslavement, forced abortion, sexual and physical assaults, deliberate starvation, torture, infanticide, mass persecution of Christians, and many other inhumane violations are perpetrated.
In February 2014, the UN Commission of Inquiry on North Korea (C01) published a report that testifies these gruesome human rights violations. Because violations are so grave, the COI report urged the referral of North Korea to the International Criminal Court (ICC) The world faces a critical point for the improvement of North Korean human rights. Due to the COI report’s recommendation, movements to appeal North Korea‘s crimes against humanity to international courts have gained momentum For two years, the UN General Assembly supported the resolution and called on the Security Council to refer North Korea to the ICC. Should the Security Council follow through with this, it will bring fundamental changes to Nonh Koreat Trials of human rights violators will show the high echelons of the regime that they are subject to international supreme principles of human rights, and that they do not have the absolute authority to suppress other citizens.
Also, North Koreans will develop more concrete and accurate concepts of human rights, trials will thus instill in both the upper and lower classes of North Korea a concept of human rights. This recognition of human dignity will serve as a seed that will lead to a blossoming of democracy and respect for humanity in North Korea. In the midst of such a critical phase, I believe that I can contribute to the improvement of North Korean human rights condition by attending WASHU Law School because the advancement of the Initiative’s goal will ultimately create an environment in which Nonh Korean violators can be tried and punished. The existence of the binding treaty on crimes against humanity will symbolize the alertness of the international community on crimes against humanity; that they are abhorrent and deserve criticism and punishment.
The establishment of such an international norm will reinforce the momentum for the ICC referral of North Korea. Furthermore, the presence of the treaty will found firmer legal grounds for the punishment of North Korean violators at international courts Currently, the world only has conventions for genocide and war crimes. Since North Korean case does not fall under the category of genocide or war crimes, this vacuum in international law might offer room for the avoidance of charges. The binding treaty will close this hole and bring North Korea closer to international justice. By opening up the hermit kingdom to the international community’s scrutiny, the ICC referral will bring North Korean violators out of their stronghold and pay their dues. The participation in the initiative’s efforts is ultimately the cultivation of the field where North Korean rights are upheld, and where I will work as an international human rights lawyer for North Koreans.
I believe that my devotion to North Korean human rights protection would also contribute to the promotion of the Crimes against Humanity Initiative’s cause, due to my interest in North Korean human rights condition, I have served as an intern at International Coalition to Stop Crimes against Humanity in North Korea (ICNK), an umbrella group composed of 50 member NGOs. One of the organization’s projects last year was the compilation of the list of the prisoners in Yoduk political camp from 2000 to 2003, based on memories of a North Korean defector. The list of human rights violations perpetrated daily at the camp is the archetype of crimes against humanity. I can research further on the camp with North Korean refugees to support the Initiative’s effort. Largely, crimes against humanity are considered to be African or Balkan issue, I believe that the examination of North Korean human rights conditions will benefit the Initiative’s effort by demonstrating the universality of crimes against humanity throughout the world.
The pervasiveness of crimes against humanity worldwide will convince the international community the necessity of a binding treaty. My internship at ICNK can also facilitate the Initiative’s fourth and final phase the fourth and the last phase consist of publicity and advocacy to raise the consciousness of crimes against humanity in the international community and the participation in regional meetings. The Initiative currently seeks to garner support from NGOst I believe that my connection to ICNK will help introduce the Initiative’s goal to member NGOs, and ask for their participation in the cause.
Because the ratification of the treaty and the improvement of North Korean human rights condition are tightly connected, they will be glad to support the initiative’s goal I think that the beneficiaries of the ICC referral are not only North Koreans, but also their compatriots in South Korea. If South Koreans realize that the international community is actively working on North Korean human rights issue, they will feel pressed to do so as well. I would like to fix the scale of Justitio in South Korea by inducing the public to take more active steps in order to liberate North Koreans from the North’s totalitarian regime. At Washington University School of Law, I want to start my lifelong journey devoted to the ultimate improvement of North Korean human rights conditions and to the change of South Korea.