Human Traffic Watch

Posts Tagged ‘korea’

Mayor defends enforced prostitution

In Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on May 16, 2013 at 11:03 am

Asian countries that bore the brunt of Japan’s wartime aggression have said Japan has failed to fully atone for atrocities.

Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, who is co-leader of an emerging conservative political party, said there was no clear evidence the Japanese military coerced women to become what are referred to as “comfort women”.

He said: “To maintain discipline in the military, it must have been necessary at that time. For soldiers who risked their lives in circumstances where bullets are flying around like rain and wind, if you want them to get some rest, a comfort women system was necessary. That’s clear to anyone.”

Historians say up to 200,000 women, mainly from the Korean Peninsula and China, were forced to provide sex for Japanese soldiers in military brothels.

An unidentified South Korean government official said it was disappointing that a senior Japanese official “made comments supportive of crimes against humanity and revealed a serious lack of a historical understanding and respect for women’s rights”.

Source: Herald Scotland


‘Eden’: a harrowing tale of sex trafficking

In Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on May 11, 2013 at 1:47 pm
Sean Porter

Sean Porter

In her second indie feature, “The Off Hours,” Seattle-based filmmaker Megan Griffiths applied a low-key, introspective style to a subtle study of a forlorn waitress who escapes from her dead-end job to seek a happier future. Griffith’s third and equally praiseworthy film, “Eden,” charts a similar course, this time focusing on a Korean-American teenager who falls victim to human trafficking in a corrupt New Mexico town.

It’s 1994, and as high-school graduation approaches, Hyun Jae (Jamie Chung) gets into a local bar with a fake ID, unwisely leaves with a nice-looking guy and soon finds herself captive in a sex-slave operation run by a federal marshal (Beau Bridges) in a remote, abandoned storage facility. Defiant at first, and renamed “Eden” by her captors, she gradually turns cooperative, maintaining a calm facade while seizing (at first unsuccessfully) every opportunity to escape.

Source: Seattle Times

Phuket News: Thai woman held for Korean sex trade

In Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on May 9, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Police from the anti-human trafficking division on Thursday arrested Lee Junho, 47, and Natthaya Porthong, 25, on Rama IX Road in Huai Khwang district.

The suspects operated a Thai traditional massage parlour in Huai Khwang as a front to lure young women into the flesh trade abroad, division commander Pol Maj Gen Chavalit Sawaengpheut said.

The arrests followed complaints from two women on March 20 that they had been lured into prostitution in South Korea.

The women said the suspects had persuaded them to work as masseuses at Koong Thai massage shop in Seoul with a promise they would earn at least 100,000 baht a month. When the women arrived there in January they were forced into the flesh trade.

They were asked to provide sex services to male customers five to seven times a day, they said. They had not received any money.

Source: The Phuket News

MTV’s Korean Drama Butterfly to Raise Awareness on Human Trafficking

In Awareness, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on March 28, 2013 at 2:08 pm


An unfortunate social reality in the Asia-Pacific is that it accounts for the lion’s share of the world’s human trafficking: according to the United Nations, 56 percent to be exact. Globally, the number of victims is around 2.5 million people, mainly women and children.

In an effort to stem this human rights atrocity, MTV EXIT (End Exploitation and Trafficking), an award-winning freedom and human rights multimedia campaign linked to the global music giant, announced yesterday that it will soon air Butterfly, an “edutainment” program that will shine a light on this dark spot of the region’s underbelly through that perennial television favorite: Korean drama.

“The reason we selected a Korean drama as a format for a human trafficking awareness program was due to the massive popularity of that format across Asia,” MTV EXIT Director Matt Love told The Diplomat. “In almost every country in Asia, Korean dramas are among the highest-rated programs, so it’s an excellent medium to reach a large number of young people with key safe migration messages.”

Source: The Diplomat

Korean nightclub madam sentenced in immigration case

In Forced marriage, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on February 26, 2013 at 12:16 pm
MIRROR FILE PHOTOThe Blue Moon, located at 31140 Pacific Highway S., just north of South 312th Street in Federal Way. The nightclub's entrance is an unmarked door at the back of the building.

The Blue Moon, located at 31140 Pacific Highway S., just north of South 312th Street in Federal Way. The nightclub’s entrance is an unmarked door at the back of the building.

The madam of a nationwide Korean prostitution ring headquartered in Federal Way was sentenced to prison on charges of immigration fraud.

Auburn resident Miyoung Roberts, 42, operated the Blue Moon nightclub on Pacific Highway South. On Friday, she was sentenced to two years in prison and three years of supervised release, according to U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan’s office.

Between 2009 and 2012, Roberts arranged illegal immigration for more than 24 Korean women who traveled around the United States to work at similar nightclubs. According to the attorney’s office, Roberts had “earned a reputation for being a successful room salon madam.”

Roberts also counseled the women, who served as “bar girls,” on how to avoid detection by immigration authorities. She set up apartments for the women and supervised some of the women’s prostitution activities, according to the attorney’s office.

Roberts had gained U.S. citizenship through a fake marriage, and in an attempt to arrange a fake marriage for someone else, she recruited an undercover agent who was working on the case.

Source: Federal Way Mirror

Koreans drive demand for child prostitution in Southeast Asia

In Child Sex Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on February 8, 2013 at 9:17 am
Among foreigners visiting Southeast Asia, South Koreans are the majority group driving demand for child prostitution across the region, according to the state-run Korean Institute of Criminology.

The institute published a report on the involvement of South Koreans in the sex trade throughout Southeast Asia on Tuesday based on year-long on-site surveys conducted in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and the Philippines.

The report said there are no statistics showing how many South Koreans annually buy sex from minors in each country. However, many police officers and civic activists the institute’s researchers met cited South Koreans as the “No. 1 source of demand for child sex trafficking,” the institute said.

“If the testimony from many underage prostitutes, police officers and human rights groups is true, South Koreans are the biggest customers of the child sex industry in the region. That’s very shameful for the country.”

Source: Korea Times

Gangnam-style brothel raided by Korean police

In Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking on January 31, 2013 at 12:00 pm

A nine-story brothel in the now famous upscale Gangnam neighborhood in Seoul, South Korea, was raided by police Monday.

Yes, that’s the same Gangnam of Psy fame.

Officers said they discovered 100 prostitutes working on the various floors. The brothel was fronted by a bar and hotel where the women worked officially as “hostesses.”

GlobalPost’s senior correspondent for East Asia, Geoffrey Cain, reports that the brothel was in a ward of Gangnam called Samseong-dong, not far from the main drag of lively restaurants and shops.

Cain said that “Gangnam is known for decadence, even though it’s not a red light district.”

Source: Global Post

US servicemen in Korea contribute to human trafficking: report

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on January 4, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Two years after the U.S. State Department cited Korean “juicy bars” for suspected human trafficking, U.S. Forces Korea is promoting a video acknowledging that the bars routinely patronized by thousands of American soldiers encourage the sexual exploitation of the young hostesses who work there.

A public service video recently posted on the YouTube page of USFK’s Public Affairs Office states unequivocally that “buying overpriced drinks in a juicy bar supports the human trafficking industry, a form of modern-day slavery.”

Yet American commanders continue to allow U.S. servicemembers to patronize the bars as long as the establishments have not been caught directly engaging in prostitution or human trafficking.

USFK commander Gen. James D. Thurman declined a request to explain whether commanders are sending American soldiers a mixed message regarding the juicy bars, which are found clustered in seedy entertainment districts near some of the U.S. military’s larger bases in Korea.

The bars are primarily staffed by Philippine women who are imported to flirt with servicemembers and encourage them to buy expensive juice drinks – usually about $10 each – in exchange for more time to talk and flirt.

A 2009 Stars and Stripes investigation found that girls who fall short of juice-sale quotas are sometimes forced by club owners to prostitute themselves to make up the revenue difference – a practice known as “bar fining.”

Source: Press TV

Traffickers of ‘human-flesh capsules’ arrested

In Human Trafficking on May 10, 2012 at 1:02 pm

The capsules are made of powdered dried fetuses or dead babies. Believed to help in rejuvenation, they are used by terminal cancer patients or Chinese laborers working here, according to the customs office.

The main production centers are Yanji, Jilin, Qingdao and Tianjin, China; and one capsule is sold for 40,000 won in Korea.

The customs service said smugglers are using more varied methods to avoid crackdowns.

“Some put herbs together in the capsules so that customs agents cannot distinguish the unique smell and color of the human-flesh capsules. Others put the capsules in medicine containers to deceive inspectors,” a KCS official said.

Source: Korea Times

Korean government declares war on illegal private loans

In Forced Labor, Sex Trafficking on April 19, 2012 at 4:37 pm

The government announced a package of measures aimed at stamping out the illegal private loans sector Tuesday as the number of victims of illicit private loans has increased.

Victims of the loans include a woman who borrowed 3 million won from a lender in March 2007 when she was a 21-year-old college student. She borrowed the money to pay tuition. She had to pay 350,000 won as interest in advance, and 40,000 won per day for the next three months.

As she failed to pay the money, her debts snowballed. A year later, the amount of money she had to give to the moneylender totaled as much as 15 million won.

The moneylender threatened her to pay off the debts, and finally forced her to work as a hostess at an entertainment bar to earn money needed to pay the snowballing debts.

As the lender extorted 18 million won from her just as interests, her debts did not decrease.

Source: Korea Times

This is how many women end up being trafficked from Korea into Japan and the United States.

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