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One Year After Government Crackdown, Sex Trade Employment Down 52 Percent and Remaining Problems

One Year After Government Crackdown, Sex Trade Employment Down 52 Percent and Remaining Problems

Posted September. 21, 2005 07:22,   


The number of arrests related to the sex trade the first month the special law on sex crimes was in effect was three times more than the number of arrests for a year after the law was enacted.

The police said on September 20 that the number of parlors in the red light districts has decreased by 36.8 percent from 1,679 to 1,061, and that the number of workers in the sex trade also has decreased by 52.3 percent from 5,567 to 2,653 since special sex trade laws took effect a year ago.

Meanwhile, the number of arrested sex criminals related to the sex trade increased by 16.2 percent from 13,998 to 16,260 during the same period.

Among them, male criminals including the owners of parlors and sex buyers accounted for 70.6 percent, or 11,474, and female offenders such as the owners of parlors and prostitutes stood at 29.4 percent. But 987 victims of sex trade were not punished according to the protection regulations on female victims.

Sex offenders ranging from 21 to 30 years of age accounted for 32.8 percent of all sex offenders, and those aged from 31 to 40 accounted for 33.4 percent. In terms of occupation, office workers topped the list at 40.6 percent.

Police revealed that the number of parlors in red light districts and sex workers has decreased to 1,679 and 2,736, respectively, as of this March. That means 10 sex parlors, or 0.2 percent, and 83 sex workers, or 1.4 percent, have closed and left the industry, respectively, over the past six months.

In addition to this, 4,157 people were arrested on charges of sex trade violations during the first month since the special law against sex trade went into effect, but only 12,103 were arrested on the same charges for the 11 months since then. That means the number of sex criminals arrested in the first year after the enactment of the laws fell short of the rate that sex offenders were picked up over the first month the laws were in place.

In response to this, the police director of the women and youth department said, “The number of sex criminals was high in the beginning of the enactment since law enforcement carried out special crackdowns on sex trade. In order to manage the trade, crackdowns on the sex trade should be combined with rehabilitation measures for workers in sex trade.”

Court Ruling on Sex Act Definitions Confuses Many-

Court rulings on the definition of sexual acts and whether or not it falls within the jurisdiction of the new sex trade laws have left the public confused as the Seoul Western District Court and the Seoul Central District Court delivered different rulings on sexual acts using hands.

Parlors that advertise providing similar sexual acts are thriving in areas where the number of sex trade shops has decreased.

The police identified 597 males, including the owners of sex parlors and male sex buyers, booked 571 of them and arrested 26 among them over the past 100 days in a series of crackdowns on sex parlors providing sexual acts similar to sexual intercourse that began in early July.

A police official said, “It is expected that the National Assembly will propose a revision of the sex trade law to ban servicing sexual behaviors similar to sexual intercourse by using not only the oral cavity and the anus but also parts of the body such as hands or tools. If the revision is passed, the number of these activities is likely to highly decrease.”