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Date : January 2, 2013
Stateless North Korean Children Bill Passed
   http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/northkorea/2013/01/02/91/0401000000AEN… [1145]
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Tuesday aimed at protecting the welfare of ‘stateless’ North Korean children, Yonhap News has reported. The bill, the North Korean Child Welfare Act of 2012, was passed unanimously by both chambers of Congress, and has been sent to President Obama for his signature.
The bill was drafted because of, “hundreds of thousands of North Korean children suffer from malnutrition in North Korea, and North Korean children or children of one North Korean parent who are living outside of North Korea may face statelessness in neighboring countries.” The objectives of the bill are multifaceted, but have the overarching aim of protecting North Korean children.
The role of the Secretary of State in facilitating the bill was clearly spelled out in the Congressional Record of the passing of the bill. The Record states that, “The Secretary of State should advocate for the best interests of these children, including, when possible, facilitating immediate protection for those living outside North Korea through family reunification or, if appropriate and eligible in individual cases, domestic or international adoption.
As well as advocating for the protection of North Korean children, the bill also calls for the appointment of a representative for the issue. The representative will have to regularly brief Congress on the U.S. Government’s efforts to protect North Korean children.
The passing of this bill is the latest work by Republican Congressman Ed Royce on behalf of North Koreans. Congressman Royce also authored the North Korean Refugee Adoption Act of 2011.
Source: Yonhap News

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