It takes many skills to be involved in human rights activism. A human rights activist must be prepared to be brave. They must also be willing to speak out tirelessly in pursuit of their goals. Many human rights activists around the world have faced all kinds of hardships as a result of their pursuit of this task. In doing so, many have needed to find the kind of resources internally that allow them to stand up and confront conditions in places that are known to be corrupt and known to be run by very cruel leaders.
One such person is North Korean human rights activist Yeonmi Park. Park is a native of North Korea and a brave soul who has done her part to help bring pressure to bear to one of the world’s most repressive places. Her work in the field of human rights activism has earned her a great deal of admiration from many quarters. It has also proven very hard as she has forced herself to speak out in front of people around the world and tell her story of what is actually going on in this very isolated part of the world.
Yeonmi Park was born in North Korea more than two decades. Her parents were members of the elite, making her life vastly easier than the lives of the majority of North Koreans. However, her father’s fall from grace meant that she and her entire family were forced to live the live of most ordinary North Koreans, meaning a life filled with hardships of all kinds and enormous deprivation. As she has recounted in many media and in her upcoming book, life here was one of relentless pain and almost unimaginable deprivation. Growing up in this nation was often almost unbelievably difficult. Many of her fellow North Koreans did not make it.
In her book on BBC, Park talks about what it was like to be a North Korean when she was young. This part of the world is governed by a tiny group of people who are devoted to an ideology that is centered around the notion that the nation’s leaders are virtually akin to gods. Ordinary North Koreans like Ms. Park were taught to essential worship the nation’s leaders and to regard them as the best leaders in the entire world. She and her fellow classmates were forced to listen to repeated radio broadcasts and other media that exhorted them to do anything they were told by the nation’s leaders.
Meanwhile Park reminds readers that food in North Korea was often quite scarce and that millions of her countrymen died because of the nation’s needless famine. Her life here meant that she had little to eat on most days and had to endure classes in school that did not teach her to think for herself. It was not until her escape that she began to realize just how hard her life had been as a child growing up here nor how lucky she was to leave.