Hiroshi Kato Honored by U.S. Embassy for Promotion of Human Rights

April 27, 2010

At a ceremony at the Embassy on April 26, Deputy Chief of Mission James Zumwalt presented Hiroshi Kato, Executive Director of Life Funds for North Korean Refugees, a certificate honoring his nomination by the Embassy for the Department of State’s 2009 Freedom Defender Award.

Instituted in 2006, this Department of State award pays tribute to non-U.S. individuals or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who have faced great challenges and shown exceptional leadership and courage in advocating for human rights and democracy promotion in any country rated by Freedom House as less than fully free.

The Embassy recognized Hiroshi Kato for his many years of outstanding service to North Korean refugees in China. Through his courage and compassion, Hiroshi Kato has shown how a single individual and a dedicated small NGO can make a crucial difference in the lives of vulnerable refugees. For this service, the United States is deeply grateful.