From North Korea to Japan: Empowering Survivors of Gender-Based Violence

pan_panHere is a great interview I conducted last fall with activist and advocate Betsy Kawamura, founder of the non-profit Women4NonViolence in Peace+Conflict Zones. Ms. Kawamura has spent more than fifteen years working with survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, particularly women who have fled the violent regime in North Korea and are now living as refugees around the world. For this article—and for the work Ms. Kawamura does—gender-based violence is understood as violence targeted at a specific group based on their gender; often manifesting in acts of rape, forced prostitution, sexual assault, sex trafficking, and other similar crimes. As a survivor of gender-based violence herself, Kawamura is able to enlighten us not only on the experience of survivors, but also why it is crucial to address sexual and gender-based violence as a matter of international politics and international law.

Click here to read the interview!

North Korea Round-Up

North Korea continues to keep itself in the headlines, so I thought I’d put together a collection of posts I’ve written on the country throughout the years. From issues with the international community to massive human rights abuses within its own borders, North Korea  is an endless conundrum for those attempting to solidify peace in the region.


How Do You Solve a Problem Like North Korea? – February 2013

North Korea: The ICC’s Problem with Jurisdiction – April 2012

Mourning the Dear Leader – January 2012

It’s Not About Korea: Peace on the Peninsula – October 2011

North Korea’s Not-so-Secret Prison Camps – June 2011

Family Ties – November 2010

How Do You Solve a Problem Like North Korea? (The Mantle)

As I write this post, North Korea has declared martial law in preparation for nuclear testing. My cynical side wonders when the people of North Korea aren’t under martial law, but even so this move shows Kim Jong Un’s expectation that the international community will retaliate for the unauthorized tests. Experts expect that the test will be conducted sometime between now and the inauguration of South Korea’s newly elected president Park Gyun-Hyelater this month. <a href=””>Read more…</a>