Yeonmi Park: Leader of Today’s Largest Human Rights Movement
Yeonmi Park is a name that not many people recognize. She is not a politician, royalty, or a soldier, but she is a hero. Park has survived a real life nightmare, something that most of the world is not even aware of. A plethora of horrible and undeserved happenings have molded this 21 year old into a strong individual, determined to speak out about the truth of North Korea.
When she was only 9 years old, Yeonmi Park witnessed her friend’s mother publicly executed. At the age of 13, Park did everything in her power to escape from North Korea, only to be stopped by human trafficking, where she witnessed her mother being raped and abused. Soon after, Park herself was ensnared in the terrible industry of human trafficking, where human beings were auctioned off and sold as if they were objects rather than living, breathing beings. Park was manipulated into becoming a man’s mistress in the hopes that he could reunite her with her father. When she finally did see her father again, he died shortly after, leaving Park to bury his ashes alone in the desert.
Why would all of these horrible things happen to such a young, innocent girl, you might ask yourself? How could the world stand by and let this happen? The truth is, the world did not know. Very little was known about the brutality and hardships that are endured in North Korea until Yeonmi Park spoke out about it. Yeonmi speaks publicly about her life so that she can raise awareness about these issues. She has spoken of what it is like to grow up in North Korea, saying that she truly believed that dictator Kim Jong Un could read her mind. She has spoken about the corruption and how it affects every facet of their lives in North Korea. In school, questions would be asked such as, If you had five Americans and killed three, how many are left? Park often speaks about the way that North Koreans are taught their is the most important and powerful country in the world.
Yeonmi Park shared on theguardian.com she has overcome a multitude of hardships, which is the source of her motivation. She has become a human right’s activist, determined to bring to light the truth about North Korea and human trafficking. Park has taken on a risky role by becoming an advocate for North Koreans because she is speaking out against the North Korean government. It is a risk she is willing to take because millions of people are suffering every single day. Park’s willingness to bring light to this matter is inspiring for those suffering from government brutality and human trafficking all over the world.
Yeonmi Park is an incredible individual, whose story is incredibly powerful. Out of necessity, she has created a movement regarding human rights. Ultimately, her the message that Park intends to convey is one of peace. No government or corrupted country should be able to take away a person’s freedom. Yeonmi Park knows: these terrible truths can no longer remain hidden from the world.