Al-Jazeera reported that some 200,000 South Korean youths run away from home annually, with many of them descending into the business of sex, according to a report by Seoul’s municipal government. A separate survey suggested that half of female runaways become prostitutes.
All these statistics fly in the face of South Korea’s stellar image as a society that consistently produces brilliant, hard-working, motivated students and technocrats. However, it is exactly that academic pressure (along with other family issues) that drives many of these teens onto the streets.
“No one ever told me it was wrong to prostitute myself, including my schoolteachers,” a runaway named Yu-ja told Al-Jazeera.
“I wish someone had told me. Girls should be taught that from an early age in class here in South Korea, but they aren’t.”
Not only is South Korea home to child and teen prostitution, but South Korean men are also driving such illicit trade in foreign countries, particularly in Southeast Asia, according to the Korean Institute of Criminology, based on surveys conducted in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and the Philippines.
Source: International Business Times