What Were Laura Ling and Euna Lee Looking For in North Korea?

August 15, 2009 • Daily Email Recap

Many thanks to Gloria Steinem for this article from the Women’s Media Center.

With the safe return of journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee from North Korea, where they had been convicted of illegally entering the country, it behooves us to look at the story they were trying to cover when apprehended in March by North Korean officials. Whatever the details of their arrest—yet to emerge—the reported subject of their journalistic quest, human trafficking, is part of a growing global tragedy.

Proportionally, the trafficking of North Korean women into China is a small part of an enormous worldwide criminal enterprise (see sidebar). However, of North Korean women and girl refugees in China, an estimated 80 to 90 percent are victims of trafficking. This is likely the highest percentage of trafficking in a single population.

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