• Our Mission

    It is HanVoice's mission to empower and amplify the most effective voices for the North Korean Human Rights and Refugee Movement: the voices of North Korean refugees themselves. The Movement needs articulate and passionate advocates from North Korea to offer a window into the human experience in North Korea, and to expose why what’s happening is unacceptable.


    The objective is to have a North Korean resettled in South Korea begin to empower and build capacity within their own diaspora, and then take their efforts further to the broader North Korean Human Rights and Refugee Movement. Through this program, we will help build and empower the voice of, not only our Pioneer, but also a generation of North Korean global advocates and leaders that are going to make a change, and perhaps one day lead a free North Korea.

  • How It Works

    Select a Candidate


    The HPP candidate must be a refugee with a passion to learn and spread the word about the human rights abuses in North Korea.


    The pioneer will come to Canada and work with our own advocates and policymakers to build the skill sets to spread the word about the cause on their own.


    The HanVoice Board has completed an extensive interview and selection process. We are pleased to announce Audrey Park as our 2016 Pioneer (bio coming soon).

    Phase 1


    The Pioneer will receive specialized hands-on and integrated training in Toronto which includes:


    1. Advocacy and leadership training (including development with respect to persuasive writing, giving effective oral testimonies, public speaking, strategic thinking, and leadership skills)

    2. English language lessons to increase English proficiency

    3. Hands-on advocacy work with HanVoice


    The Korean Canadian Women's Association is our partner in education, training, and leadership development for 2016.

    Phase 2


    The Pioneer will participate in an internship with a Parliamentarian's office in Ottawa to witness the mechanics of democracy and walk the Halls of Power.


    This will provide our Pioneer with

    extraordinary exposure to policymakers and equip the Pioneer with an understanding of effective advocacy at the highest level of government.


    The Honourable Senator Yonah Martin is our 2016 Parliamentarian partner.

  • Evaluation report

    Please check out our Evaluation Report for 2014. Our 2016 report will be available soon!

  • HPP 2016 Pioneer: Audrey Park

    Audrey was born and raised in the North Hamgyeong Province of North Korea. She was 10 years old when she first escaped North Korea with her mother. They lived in China for 7 years, but were deported back to North Korea three times. In 2006, Audrey and her mother were finally able to cross the Gobi Desert in Mongolia and travel to South Korea.


    Audrey is currently completing a Master's degree in Political Science at Yonsei University in Seoul. During her time in Canada, Audrey interned for the Honourable Yonah Martin.


    Watch Audrey's video to learn more about her story.

    HPP 2014 Pioneer: Sungju Lee

    Sungju Lee is a North Korean defector who was born in Pyongyang. His family was expelled to the northern part of the country when he was 11 years old after his father was accused of committing a transgression. Following five years of life as a street orphan, he was able to escape North Korea at the age of 16. He went on to study Political Science and Journalism in Sogang University (South Korea) and interned for Conservative MP Barry Devolin in Canada.


    Currently, Sungju is studying for a master's degree in International Relations at Warwick University (United Kingdom) on a Chevening Scholarship.



    "Through the HanVoice Pioneers project, I have been able to share my personal stories with countless Canadians, and I have been given the opportunity to raise awareness about the struggles of North Korean escapees in China, Thailand, and Mongolia. But as I spoke about these stories, I began to realize how vital it is to gain Canadians' support if we want to achieve the reunification of Korea successfully."


    Sungju Lee (HPP 2014 Alumni)

    Launch Event Photos

    HPP 2013 Pioneer: Seongmin Lee

    Seongmin is a North Korean defector who escaped his home country in 2009 and arrived in South Korea in 2010. He testified for the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland in 2010. From 2012 to 2013, he worked as a student journalist for the South Korean Ministry of Unification and then served as an assistant to a member on Parliament Hill in Canada. 


    Seongmin is currently studying Political Science & International Relations at Columbia University.

    “I have experienced in the past 6 months what I have never imagined possible when I escaped from North Korea. I have learned the skills and confidence which will allow me to be a leader for North Koreans on the international stage when the country becomes free in the future. I want to extend my bottomless gratitude to HanVoice for this opportunity.”


    Seongmin Lee (HPP 2013 Alumni)

  • hpp 2017 launch party

    HanVoice was started by three law students in 2007, concerned about the lack of an adequate Canadian response to one of the worst ongoing human rights tragedies of an era.


    A decade later, what has changed in North Korea? Come meet Ellie Cha, refugee and our 2017 Pioneer, at our Launch Party and 10th Year Anniversary celebration on July 27 at the Spoke Club.


    Tickets are $50, and will include a free beverage and hors d'oeuvres. Please RSVP & purchase tickets through the link below.

  • Get Involved


    Whether you're interested in helping out at events, hosting the Pioneer for an evening, or simply volunteering your skills, we'd love to hear from you!


    The HPP program would not be where it is without dependable and passionate volunteers. If you're interested, please email the Director of HanVoice Pioneers Project, Veronica Kim.

    In-Kind Donations

    You can help us out by making in-kind donations, including program necessities such as providing in-city transportation passes, meals, spare telephone and computer, English lessons, transportation to and from Ottawa, and organizing cultural activities for our Pioneer to participate in.


    Please contact our Executive Director Christopher Kim or the Director of HanVoice Pioneers Project Veronica Kim if there is anything you would like to offer!

  • Donate

    The entire operation of HPP relies on your donations. Without this generous support, our mission to empower leaders within the North Korean refugee community would not be possible.


    Our team of volunteers work hard to ensure that every dollar is used to directly support our mission and Pioneer.


    Your financial contributions will go towards:

    - transportation & travel costs

    - accommodation

    - advocacy & leadership programs

    - English language classes


  • our partners

    Partner in education, training, and leadership development

  • Our sponsors

  • Contact Us

    Connect with us to stay informed on the HanVoice Pioneers Project.



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