A new report made by NK News has been making headlines for its most recent story about North Korean orphans. According to NK News, North Korean orphans from two different orphanages have been “volunteering” their time to work in coal mines and farms all across the country.

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North Korean orphans | NK News

Dozens of orphan children rushed out to the Chonnae Area Coal-mining Complex to fulfill their oath to repay even just a millionth of the love the party showed.

— Korean Central News Agency (KCNA)

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Children working on North Korean coal mines | The Mirror

It was also further reported that these orphans have been receiving ceremonies to celebrate their hard work and effort. The nation wanted to “congratulate the orphan children for volunteering to work in difficult and labor-consuming fields.” 

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) made claims that approximately 150 children “with wisdom and courage in the prime of their youth, all rose up overflowing with lofty enthusiasm to volunteer to serve” at different locations all throughout North Korea.

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North Korean orphans being celebrated at a ceremony | NK News

While North Korea celebrates these orphans’ willingness to “volunteer,” however, different human rights organizations have accused the nation of child labor as these types of reports continue to make headlines. In 2017, The United Nations Committee released a statement addressing their concerns about “children being requested to volunteer extensive periods of their day to work on farms and in mines. [This] interferes with their rights to education, health, rest and leisure.”

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| PSOURCE

In the midst of these organizations’ growing concerns, North Korea has stepped forward to repeatedly deny the accusations of “forced child labor.” Regarding these allegations, North Korea has previously stated that “all children, with pure hearts that know nothing of lies or affection, desire to see even in their dreams their ‘father’ Kim Jung Eun.’”

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| Human Rights Watch