North Korea Freedom Week is an annual event held for the specific purpose of promoting the freedom, human rights and dignity of the North Korean people through raising awareness and action. It was first established in 2004 as a single day to galvanize public support in the United States for the North Korea Human Rights Act. On April 28, 2004, the first North Korea Freedom Day, one thousand people came to Capitol Hill in support of North Korea’s freedom and human rights. It was the largest gathering for North Korea that had ever been held outside the Korean peninsula and Members of Congress credited that day with leading to the unanimous passage of the North Korea Human Rights Act.
The following year the event was expanded to a week featuring rallies, Congressional hearings, the North Korea genocide exhibit, film screenings and many different events. It was held in Washington DC up through 2009. During that period it gave North Korean defectors the opportunity to meet with the President of the United States, led the U.S. Congress to host hearings featuring eyewitnesses who testified on North Korea’s political prison camps, the trafficking of North Korean women in China, North Korea’s involvement in abducting South Korean and Japanese citizens, South Korean POWs still being held in North Korea, North Korea’s persecution of Christians and its illicit and illegal activities.