Some statistics cited by Park Ki-choon, a lawmaker for South Korea’s opposition party, from a report by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) based on interviews with 100 children born to defecting North Korean mothers in 14 regions in China’s Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang and Shandong provinces last year:
- 21% of the children lived with their North Korean birth mother,
- 20% lived with their father only.
- 39% were looked after by grandparents or relatives,
- 20% lived in shelters run by evangelical missionaries.
The NHRC believes there are 20,000 to 30,000 children under 19 born in China to North Korean mothers, based on the estimates by Korean NGOs and researchers at Johns Hopkins University.
However, a missionary working with North Korean defectors in China said, “We estimate that there are 50,000 stateless orphans whose basic livelihood is not protected in northeast China, to say nothing of their education.”
In any case, if these figures are extrapolated, there are tens of thousands of innocent children and mothers sadly impacted by the main reason that these children are abandoned: Because of existing policy, China has deported the mothers back to North Korea.
[Source: Chosun Ilbo]