Yeon-Mi Park Becomes BBC Top 100 Woman

Yeon-Mi Park is a human rights activist and recipient of the 2014 BBC Top 100 Women award. Now, Park speaks out about her experiences and how they inspired her to fight for human dignity across the globe.

As a child growing up in North Korea, Yeon-Mi Park did not realize that what she witnessed every day were violations of human rights. Even after her family defected to China, she continued to see human rights tragedies such as the assault of her own mother by the man who helped them escape. Because of her experiences, Park did not realize until she was able to go to South Korea, America and Europe that everyone did not live this way. “I heard a few years ago, that all humans are equal, and that everyone has human rights,” Park said. “And I just couldn’t believe that humans were this generous.”

Today, Park is the recipient of one of Europe’s most prestigious awards, the BBC Top 100 Women for 2014. At only 21, Park is one of the youngest women to be honored with this title. Her story, available on the web at, is one of courage and strength, but she is the first to say that she does not feel that she is doing anything special. “I don’t think it’s a very special thing,” she replied. “As a human being, I cannot forget them. How can I be free here from all the scenes and the things that I went through?”

As the host of her own show, seen at, Park has developed a reputation as a strong advocate of the North Korean people and a tireless volunteer working to improve relations between her new home of South Korean and the totalitarian-controlled country. Her hope is that her work will enable and understanding between the people of North Korea and those of South Korea.

Currently a political science student at Dongguk University in Seoul, Park continues to fight for the rights of people around the globe. For more information, see

About Yeon-Mi Park: Born in Hyesan, North Korea, Yeon-Mi Park is currently majoring in criminal justice at Dongguk University in Seoul, South Korea, and has been featured as a guest on the Voice of America, Radio Free Asia, BBC2 and SBS Insight as well as being a regular guest on the South Korean television show Now On My Way To Meet You, a program that addresses the gap between North and South Koreans. Park is also a Media Fellow at Freedom Factory Co. Ltd. and co-host of the podcast Casey Lartigue and Yeon-Mi Park Show. She is a volunteer with Now, Action, Unity and Human Rights (NAUH) as well as the Ambassador of Teach North Korean Refugees.

Contact Info:
Name: Yeon-Mi Park
Phone: (800) 527-9991
Organization: Yeon-Mi Park

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Release ID: 84773