For decades, North Korean authorities have denied the existence of mass political prison camps.

But we've gathered satellite photography and testimonies from former prisoners that not only makes their existence undeniable, but shows they’re still growing in size.

We estimate that there are up to 50,000 prisoners in Yodok, which is just one of six camps we know about. Many prisoners do not even know what they are accused of. Thousands of people - including children - have been sent to the camp simply because they are related to detainees.

With your support, we can call on North Korea leader Kim Jong-Il to acknowledge that these camps exist and close them immediately.

Who are the 50,000 people imprisoned there and what have they done?

Life in Yodok prison camp

Officials or cadres perceived to have performed their job inadequately; anyone who criticises the regime or the ruling family; anyone who has had contact with South Korean nationals and/or contact with religious groups (in China); anyone suspected of engaging in "anti-government" activities.

How many political prison camps are there in North Korea?

Amnesty International has very limited information on the conditions in the other camps - we know only their locations, and from satellite imagery an estimate on the numbers of people who are held and the goods that are produced.

What is Amnesty International doing about it?

  • We have a dedicated team working on this issue
  • We have published satellite imagery proving that Yodok exists
  • We spoke to a number of people, including former inmates from the political prison camp at Yodok as well as guards in other political prison camps, to obtain information about life in the camps
  • We have had some contact with the North Korea delegation via our Geneva office
  • We are attempting to meeting with the North Korean authorities to pressure them to acknowledge the existance of these camps

Speak out for the forgotten prisoners of Yodok

  • Donate today in support of the 50,000 forgotten prisoners of Yodok political prisoner camp and defend all our human rights campaigns around the world