The Great Escape (Unreported World)

For Channel 4′s award winning and critically acclaimed foreign affairs series, ‘Unreported World’, Oliver travelled to the remote Chinese-North Korean border to report on the plight of thousands of North Korean women who have been forced into prostitution or sold as brides after fleeing persecution and starvation in one of the most secretive and repressive regimes in the world. WATCH ON 4oD

• Full Summary: (from C4: Unreported World)
• Clips: Border Patrol – on the Chinese-North Korean border
• Reporters Blog: Read about Oliver’s Experience making the documentary (from C4: Unreported World)

Pick of the Day & Critics Choice:
• The Independent
• Independent on Sunday:
• Guardian: ‘Harrowing… brisk and bracing direct report from the best investigative series on television’
• The Observer: “one of the most depressing and dark programmes in this compelling series’
• The Times: ‘unbelievably bleak’
• Sunday Times: ‘blunt and harrowing’
• The Telegraph
• Sunday Telegraph
• Mail: ‘harrowing’
• Mail on Sunday: ‘haunting’
• Radio Times: ‘Disturbing’

“Unreported World reveals the desperate and horrific stories of some of the thousands of North Koreans who attempt to cross the border into China each year in the hope of escaping one of the world’s most repressive regimes. For those who do make it across, life offers little, if any joy. Unrecognised in China, North Korean refugees are unable to work legally and end up hiding or living in slums and many of the women are often forced to work as prostitutes or sold as wives to Chinese villagers. Refugees live in constant fear of being found out and anyone who informs the police of their whereabouts is offered £20. Those who are caught are sent back to labour camps, tortured or face execution. Some escapees attempt the 3,000-mile trip to South Korea, a country which welcomes them. One previous escapee, who acts as a broker on the border helping out other North Koreans, tells how those who attempt the journey to South Korea are equipped with chilli powder to throw at guards and a small knife to kill themselves if they are caught before they make it. Of the 300,000 who have fled already, only 5% have made it to South Korea.This may be one of the most depressing and dark programmes of this compelling series, but if at least one more person learns about the North Korean’s plight, then it will have done it’s job.”
-Rowan Walker – The Observer

Learn more and find out what you can do:
Amnesty International: China
Amnesty International: North Korea
Human Rights Watch: China
Human Rights Watch: North Korea
North Korean Refugees
Unreported World: Channel 4
BASPIA: for the realization of human rights-based social development in Northeast Asia.

Published Reports:
• Human Rights Watch: Denied Status, Denied Education: Children of North Korean Women in China
• Human Rights Watch: North Korea: Harsher policies against border crossers
• Anti-Slavery International: Forced Labour in North Korean Prison Camps:
• Anti Slavery International: Absence of Choice: the Sexual Exploitation of North Korean women in China

Production Details
• TX: Channel 4: 7:35pm; 17th April 2009
• Role: Correspondent
• Production: Quicksilver Media