Forced labor prescribed for North Korea’s malnourished street children
North Korea’s street children, known as kkotjebi, held by the state in designated facilities are being subjected to forced labor and suffering from malnourishment because holding facility staff are stealing from their food rations, according to sources inside the country.
“I recently saw a security officer tell a street child that he would provide them with something to eat as he took them away,” said a North Hwanghae Province-based source on August 16. “The children don’t resist, but they are taken to farms and forced to work.”
He added, “When the authorities gathered everyone to plant cabbage last August, street kids in their late teens were also mobilized. The kids worked and got their own share of vegetables to eat, but they looked so pitiful being forced to work like that.”
North Korea may have violated the clause in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child pertaining to the prohibition of forced labor of children under the age of 18. North Korea signed the treaty in 1990. ......