South Korea Pro Bono Directory

Click here to see the numbers and origins of refugees hosted by South Korea.

For South Korea country of information (COI) experts, reports, commentaries and relevant documents, please click here.

As UNHCR statistics generally rely on data from host countries, statistics on refugees alone can give an insufficient account of refugee numbers, as some host countries will not grant refugee status to certain groups. Including statistics for individuals in refugee-like situations is an attempt to account for unrecognised refugees and does not include internally displaced persons. Statistics for stateless refugees are included if available.

Advocates for Public Interest Law (APIL)
#505,163 Anguk-dong, Jongro-gu, Seoul, Korea 110-240
Tel: +82 23 47 80 529
Fax: +82 23 47 80 527

APIL (Advocates for Public Interest Law) is a non-profit public interest law firm working with and for underrepresented groups including refugees, immigration detainees and victims of human trafficking in Republic of Korea. It provides legal aid and pro-bono referral services to refugees and asylum-seekers in the Republic of Korea. With an effort to make sure asylum seekers are properly represented by lawyers, it provides resources, assistance and training to refugee lawyers to increase efficiency and expertise in providing legal services for refugees. It works collaboratively with other refugee related organisations to improve human rights and polices for refugees.

Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights (NKHR)

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Gonghwa Building 10F, 7-2 Chungjeong-ro 2-ga, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Tel/Fax: +82 27 23 16 72

NKHR is a Seoul-based NGO that advocates for the human rights of the people of North Korea. NKHR campaigns domestically and internationally for improved human rights and provides assistance to North Korean refugees and those who have re-settled in South Korea. NKHR’s work for North Korean refugees includes advocating for better treatment of North Korean refugees in third countries, particularly China, where nearly all North Koreans refugees must pass through. NKHR also provides direct assistance to North Korean refugees who are in hiding in China.

Dongcheon Foundation
647-9, Yeoksam-dong Gangnam-gu Seoul 135-980 Korea Knowledge Center Building 13th Floor
Tel: +82 02 34 04 75 90
Fax: +82 02 34 04 73 07

Offers free legal consultations, defense and legal aid activities and direct support for disadvantaged social groups including refugees. Dongcheon Foundation is a member of the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network.

GongGam Human Rights Law Foundation

3F, 158-1 Wonseo-dong, Jongro-gu, Seoul 110-280, Korea – Map and directions to office
Tel: +82 23 67 57 74 01
Fax: +82 23 67 57 742
Contact(s):  Pillkyu Hwang, Youngah Park


GongGam supports those seeking asylum in their quest for recognition as Convention refugees. In 2007, they successfully obtained recognition of refugee status of a Chinese asylum seeker for the first time when the Seoul Administrative Court accepted his claim of a well-founded fear of persecution should he be forcibly returned to his home country as a result of his exposure of human rights violations by government officials. For further details of their work with refugees and migrants, visit the Areas of Practice page. Member of the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN) and Southern Refugee Legal Aid Network (SRLAN).

Helping Hands Korea (HHK)
Helping Hands Korea, KPO Box 677, Seoul, 110-110, Republic of Korea.

Helping Hands Korea (HHK) endeavors to support the most vulnerable sectors in North Korea (DPRK) society as well as those who have fled the DPRK and are living clandestinely as refugees living in China. In cases where North Korean refugees face imminent danger of forced repatriation, HHK facilitates the evacuation of refugees to safe third countries where their rights as refugees are respected. HHK provides food, clothing, medicines and nutritional supplements to those living at greatest risk within North Korea, including orphaned children, school children in impoverished areas, the handicapped, the elderly and single parents. HHK makes a special effort to lend practical assistance to those citizens whose right to religious freedom has been severely curtailed. The East Asia-based organisation also provides foster care and supplementary stipend aid for children in China who have become orphaned when their North Korean mothers, victims of human trafficking, experience life-threatening forcible repatriation from China to the DPRK.

Human Asia
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4th Floor Yoonggi Bldg., 210 Apkujung St. Gangnam-gu, Seoul 135-894, Korea
Tel : +82 27 23 16 73
Fax : +82 25 11 02 73

Human Asia does not provide legal aid for refugees. However, we provide support for refugees in various ways such as through campaigns, research papers, international conferences, and reports on human rights issues, etc. We are able to refer asylum seekers and refugees in search of legal aid to NGOs equipped to handle such issues.


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4th Floor, Il-deung Building, 70-3 Galwol-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea 140-806
Tel: +82 (0)2 71 20 620
Fax: +82 (0)5 05 50 30 620

NANCEN provides emergency medical assistance, psychological consultation and treatment, nursery care for children, educational support and temporary shelter for refugees. Concerning refugee status determination (RSD), NANCEN offers free consultation for refugee applicants. It provides refugees with basic guidelines concerning the RSD process, pre-interviews them, assists them with writing their statements, and accompanies them to the Refugee Office where decisions are made.

NANCEN also monitors the detention facilities for foreigners on a monthly basis; conducts a citizen education programme on refugees; publishes refugee-related books and reports; lobbies for financial support for improved refugee policy; and sponsors the annual awareness campaign, World Refugee Day, 20 June. NANCEN works with Dong-Cheon, a public interest division of Bae, Kim & Lee Law Firm, which does pro bono work for refugees, the Korean Bar Association, and the Seoul Bar Association. NANCEN is a member of the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network.

Refuge Pnan
100-042 21-5, Namsan-dong  2Ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Tel: +82 28 71 53 82
Fax: +82 28 88 16 76

Provides legal assistance to refugees including self-representation advice, drafting testimonies and legal submission, interview preparation, and referral to other NGOs. Refuge Pnan also provides health services, psycho-social services, education, livelihood assistance, language classes and lessons in martial arts.