User guide

FOOTPRINTS is a comprehensive online database of the reported cases of arbitrary detention, abduction and enforced disappearance committed in and by North Korea. FOOTPRINTS documents and provides information about the victims, perpetrators, related proceedings, and testimonials as well as relevant human rights instruments and North Korean resources.

Home page

The home page has a search box, counters, charts and a map to provide comprehensive statistical and geospatial information about the cases of arbitrary detention, abduction and enforced disappearance in and by North Korea (stored in FOOTPRINTS).

In the top bar on the main page, you can find the pages for the Victims, Perpetrators, Proceedings, Testimonials, HR Instruments and NK Resources.


The user is able to change the display format from “Cards view” which is the default format to “Table view” or “Map view” by clicking on the respective icons, which can be found right beneath the “Contact Us” tab. Users can find specific victims, perpetrators, proceedings, testimonials, HR instruments or NK resources with a keyword search. Click on “Search tips” for information on search operators that would make your keyword search far more efficient. Users can use one or more of the many filter functions available, such as Victim types, Date of arrest/abduction/disappearance, Related Perpetrators which are found on the right hand side of the page.

Relational information

If you go to the victim’s card, you can find links to the cards for Related victims, Related perpetrators and Related proceedings. By clicking on these cards, you can find more information about related victims, perpetrators and proceedings.Similarly, you can find more information about related victims, perpetrators and proceedings from the perpetrator and proceeding cards.


The testimonials contain video testimonies made by victims and other relevant parties about arbitrary detention, abduction and enforced disappearance.

HR Instruments & NK Resources

HR Instruments display key human rights treaties, declarations and standards that may be applicable to the cases of arbitrary detention, abduction and enforced disappearance in or by North Korea. NK Resources provide information and links to the North Korean human rights resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council, the annual reports submitted by the UN Secretary-General and Special Rapporteurs on North Korean human rights and other materials that shed light on the situation in North Korea.

Note on the English translation of Korean names

The transliteration of Korean names into alphabets follows the Revised Romanization of Korean (국어의 로마자 표기법), the official Korean language romanization system developed by South Korea's National Academy of the Korean Language. However, exceptions are made for common syllables such as "Kim (김)", "Lee (이)", "Park (박)" in family names and given names that takes into consideration the known preference of the individuals and the transliteration used in official documents such as passports and UN submissions. In addition, exceptions are made for well-known North Korean names that follow North Korea's variant of the old McCune–Reischauer system. In accordance with the traditional Korean naming convention, Korean names are written with the family name first, but exceptions are made in the Proceedings cards where the UN or other official bodies have written them with the given name first.