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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Korea Times: "Over 1,000 Korean women are prostitutes in Australia".. By Lee Hyo-sik

http://www.waygook.org/index.php?topic=25217.0;wap2
ondaicivic:
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2011/11/117_98737.html


Korea Times: "Over 1,000 Korean women are prostitutes in Australia"..
By Lee Hyo-sik

A growing number of Korean prostitutes are flying to Australia on a working holiday program, following harsh government crackdowns on brothels here over the past few years, foreign ministry officials said Monday.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which administers the work-and-travel program for mostly university students, over 1,000 Korean nationals are estimated to work as prostitutes in Australia, accounting for about 17 percent of the some 6,000 foreign sex workers.

The ministry suspects that the majority of Korean sex workers went to the Oceanic country on the working holiday program.

The program, designed to give Korean students an opportunity to gain international experience, allows those aged 18-30 to stay in one of 11 partner countries to work and travel during a limited time period. The partners include Australia, Denmark, Canada, Germany, France, Ireland, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan and Sweden.

Australia has been the most popular destination for the one-year work-and-travel permit, allowing participants to gain employment to supplement their travel expenses. Currently, about 35,000 Koreans travel on working holiday visas.

Passport invalidation

“Since 2004 when the Korean government launched a full-fledged clampdown on brothels and other sex businesses in accordance with the anti-prostitution law, sex workers here have either gone underground or moved to foreign countries. It was uncovered that prostitution by Korean women has recently become a social problem in Australia,” a foreign ministry official said.

He said the number is estimated to exceed 1,000.

“We suspect that not only prostitutes, but also some young women unable to find jobs here are lured by organized crime rings. They are told that they would be able to earn handsome salaries if they work as a prostitute in Australia for a short period of time,” he said.

Many of them went to the country through the working holiday program, the official said, adding some women who initially headed abroad to work and travel have ended up prostituting, tempted by the promise of “quick, easy money.”

Against this backdrop, the foreign ministry dispatched senior officials to Australia Sunday to boost cooperation between the two sides to deal with the situation.

The two discussed a range of ways to prevent Koreans on work holiday visas from being involved in the sex business there, as well as to crack down on crime organizations trafficking women.

The ministry also plans to invalidate passports of those who were found to have engaged in prostitution in Australia and other countries.

Besides Australia, an increasing number of Korean women on working holiday visas have recently been caught working as prostitutes in the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Japan.

It is estimated that more than 5,000 Korean females are employed by illegal sex businesses in the U.S."



^Money makes the world go round.....
Yu_Bumsuk:
One of my ex-students, second-year university age, is apparently living in Australia, according to her former classmates. When I first heard I thought, wow, that's amazing that she of all people would move to a foreign country... oh wait, what do Korean women with no English or job skills do there?

hondaicivic:

--- Quote from: Yu_Bumsuk on November 15, 2011, 10:19:43 AM ---One of my ex-students, second-year university age, is apparently living in Australia, according to her former classmates. When I first heard I thought, wow, that's amazing that she of all people would move to a foreign country... oh wait, what do Korean women with no English or job skills do there?

--- End quote ---





^Is that her? ;D.......

Yu_Bumsuk:

--- Quote from: hondaicivic on November 15, 2011, 10:33:22 AM ---
--- Quote from: Yu_Bumsuk on November 15, 2011, 10:19:43 AM ---One of my ex-students, second-year university age, is apparently living in Australia, according to her former classmates. When I first heard I thought, wow, that's amazing that she of all people would move to a foreign country... oh wait, what do Korean women with no English or job skills do there?

--- End quote ---





^Is that her? ;D.......

--- End quote ---

Nope, I had to speak Korean to my ex-student for her to understand anything. However she was more polite than the one in that video.
Amandada6262000:
This is so crazy. But I also think prostitution in Korea is still very much alive. A foreigner friend of mine here (who is not a teacher- he's an engineer) was taken to a norebang with three other co-workers by his boss. While they were there, the owner of the norebang brought in five girls who immediately each chose a foreigner and sat next to him.... My friend was extremely uncomfortable, as it was clear what the girls were there for. He tried to just sing the songs and eat the snacks (he also does not drink). They began to touch his other co-workers and his boss, and he left. I thought that was really strange.

Also, in the streets in Daegu you can see calling cards, some even with pictures of the prostitutes on them. So, it's really not that underground. Still sad and weird.










tfuller:
Just a reminder that prostitution is legal in Australia in most states.

Technically, those on a working holiday visa can work in jobs no longer than 6 months at a time before they must move on to another job. Those on student visas can work 20hrs/week max while studying. So this "illegal business" in the US may well be legal in Australia.

A quick Google search brings up many brothels where there are only Korean women working there. Personally, I honestly don't think that the Korean government will do anything as long as something is legal in that country. Revoke a working visa for doing work that is legal? Just my 5c.
Yu_Bumsuk:

--- Quote from: Amandada6262000 on November 15, 2011, 10:57:29 AM ---This is so crazy. But I also think prostitution in Korea is still very much alive. A foreigner friend of mine here (who is not a teacher- he's an engineer) was taken to a norebang with three other co-workers by his boss. While they were there, the owner of the norebang brought in five girls who immediately each chose a foreigner and sat next to him.... My friend was extremely uncomfortable, as it was clear what the girls were there for. He tried to just sing the songs and eat the snacks (he also does not drink). They began to touch his other co-workers and his boss, and he left. I thought that was really strange.

Also, in the streets in Daegu you can see calling cards, some even with pictures of the prostitutes on them. So, it's really not that underground. Still sad and weird.

--- End quote ---

First, that's not strange at all and secondly, the pics on the cards aren't the actual girls and could well be pics of Japanese.

justanotherwaygook:

--- Quote from: tfuller on November 15, 2011, 11:06:23 AM ---Just a reminder that prostitution is legal in Australia in most states.

Technically, those on a working holiday visa can work in jobs no longer than 6 months at a time before they must move on to another job. Those on student visas can work 20hrs/week max while studying. So this "illegal business" in the US may well be legal in Australia.

A quick Google search brings up many brothels where there are only Korean women working there. Personally, I honestly don't think that the Korean government will do anything as long as something is legal in that country. Revoke a working visa for doing work that is legal? Just my 5c.

--- End quote ---

Often, Korean law applies to Korean nationals abroad. There was a similar case in which a hagwon teacher spent time in Canada and made some extra money in 'film making.' Her movie was seen by one of her students, who reported her to the authorities and she was subsequently charged.

flasyb:

--- Quote from: Amandada6262000 on November 15, 2011, 10:57:29 AM ---This is so crazy. But I also think prostitution in Korea is still very much alive. A foreigner friend of mine here (who is not a teacher- he's an engineer) was taken to a norebang with three other co-workers by his boss. While they were there, the owner of the norebang brought in five girls who immediately each chose a foreigner and sat next to him.... My friend was extremely uncomfortable, as it was clear what the girls were there for. He tried to just sing the songs and eat the snacks (he also does not drink). They began to touch his other co-workers and his boss, and he left. I thought that was really strange.

Also, in the streets in Daegu you can see calling cards, some even with pictures of the prostitutes on them. So, it's really not that underground. Still sad and weird.

--- End quote ---

Haha! Being a woman, you are unlikely to encounter this side of Korean society very much. If your male friends get in tight with some Korean men, especially some slightly older ones, then they'll catch some glimpses and have some interesting stories.

It's not strange, it's normal out here. Noraebang girls (or more frequently out here in the countryside, Noraebang middle-aged women) are common, provide company for the men after a hard week's work and fill the gaps of Norae silence with singing. A lot of them are also prostitutes. Yeah, it gets very uncomfortable. Yeah, it's a lot more common that you think.

Amandada6262000:
I can't judge.... prostitution exists everywhere, legal or no. I just think it's strange to be PROVIDED with such a service by your boss.... I would find it really uncomfortable, and, exactly what you said, being a female foreigner, it's a part of society that is completely veiled to me. It's kind of like Korean women who smoke. I know they do, I just never see it (I also live in a really conservative area!).

flasyb:

--- Quote from: Amandada6262000 on November 15, 2011, 11:30:18 AM ---I can't judge.... prostitution exists everywhere, legal or no. I just think it's strange to be PROVIDED with such a service by your boss.... I would find it really uncomfortable, and, exactly what you said, being a female foreigner, it's a part of society that is completely veiled to me. It's kind of like Korean women who smoke. I know they do, I just never see it (I also live in a really conservative area!).

--- End quote ---

It's one of the many contradictions that you'll find in any society. Korea is supposed to be a very conservative country but it seems accepted that this kind of thing goes on. It's simply not acknowledged for the most part - if you enquire about it, the subject will be changed and the person you're talking to will suddenly have problems understanding what you're saying even if the conversation has been fine up to that point. It's up to you to keep your eyes open and see it around you whilst at the same time not mentioning it - unless of course you're in the business of burning bridges. It's fascinating.

In the UK, we're supposed to be prudish but we have the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe and STDs are on the rise among older generations too - they don't feel the need to "rubber up" for obvious reasons. We destroy our livers and town centres during binges but we're "gentlemen." There are societal contradictions everywhere. You've just got to notice them but be careful who you mention them to.

Yu_Bumsuk:

--- Quote from: Amandada6262000 on November 15, 2011, 11:30:18 AM ---I can't judge.... prostitution exists everywhere, legal or no. I just think it's strange to be PROVIDED with such a service by your boss.... I would find it really uncomfortable, and, exactly what you said, being a female foreigner, it's a part of society that is completely veiled to me. It's kind of like Korean women who smoke. I know they do, I just never see it (I also live in a really conservative area!).

--- End quote ---

I always have to laugh inside when I hear foreign females or males with no real male Korean friends talk about this subject.
Andyroo:

--- Quote from: Yu_Bumsuk on November 15, 2011, 10:19:43 AM ---One of my ex-students, second-year university age, is apparently living in Australia, according to her former classmates. When I first heard I thought, wow, that's amazing that she of all people would move to a foreign country... oh wait, what do Korean women with no English or job skills do there?

--- End quote ---

1,000 isn't a lot considering how many Koreans are in Australia.

My wife came to Australia on a working holiday visa and was working in a University cafeteria with 2 other Korean girls on the same visa. A lot of them work on farms as fruit pickers because if you do that for 6 months you get an extra year added to your visa. It's decent money but really hard work that Australians aren't to keen to do .... it's often far away from civilisation as well.

You can get by with very little or even no English. Each city has it's own version of Korea town. Nearby our house was about 6 Korean groceries, a couple of Korean language churches, heaps of restaurants, Korean book store, Korean Bakery, Korean butcher etc etc
That said it would be tough with no English just because a lot of Koreans prey on them. We met a couple of Korean women who boasted how much they charged Korean students coming to Australia for simple tasks like getting a mobile phone or opening a bank account.
Every now and then there is an expose of students or people on a holiday visa living in cramped conditions (A house for 5 will have 20 in it) and the landlord is always of the same nationality.









woman-king:

--- Quote from: flasyb on November 15, 2011, 11:50:14 AM ---
--- Quote from: Amandada6262000 on November 15, 2011, 11:30:18 AM ---I can't judge.... prostitution exists everywhere, legal or no. I just think it's strange to be PROVIDED with such a service by your boss.... I would find it really uncomfortable, and, exactly what you said, being a female foreigner, it's a part of society that is completely veiled to me. It's kind of like Korean women who smoke. I know they do, I just never see it (I also live in a really conservative area!).

--- End quote ---

It's one of the many contradictions that you'll find in any society. Korea is supposed to be a very conservative country but it seems accepted that this kind of thing goes on. It's simply not acknowledged for the most part - if you enquire about it, the subject will be changed and the person you're talking to will suddenly have problems understanding what you're saying even if the conversation has been fine up to that point. It's up to you to keep your eyes open and see it around you whilst at the same time not mentioning it - unless of course you're in the business of burning bridges. It's fascinating.

In the UK, we're supposed to be prudish but we have the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe and STDs are on the rise among older generations too - they don't feel the need to "rubber up" for obvious reasons. We destroy our livers and town centres during binges but we're "gentlemen." There are societal contradictions everywhere. You've just got to notice them but be careful who you mention them to.

--- End quote ---

This does seem to be the case where a lot of outwardly conservative societies also have a sort of contradictory dark side to them. The highest rates of porn consumption, abortion and divorce in the U.S. are in the "red" States--those that tend to vote conservative Republican. I've heard people in France and Italy drink MUCH less than their U.K. counterparts or even North Americans, even though children there are given wine when they're very young (someone from Europe might know more about this, but I've always found it really interesting)

I think most foreigners who have been here for over a year are quite aware of how common and tacitly accepted prostitution is here, too--my foreign friends discuss it as a matter-of-fact part of Korean society.

To me, women going overseas to work as prostitutes is much more serious and potentially dangerous and needs to be more restricted because of the potential for human trafficking. Of course, prostitutes can be exploited and trafficked in their own countries as well--there's debate over whether legalizing and regulating it, or outlawing it and cracking down on pimps, is the better way to solve that.

Lindsay:

--- Quote from: woman-king on November 15, 2011, 12:16:19 PM ---I've heard people in France and Italy drink MUCH less than their U.K. counterparts or even North Americans, even though children there are given wine when they're very young (someone from Europe might know more about this, but I've always found it really interesting)
--- End quote ---

They get watered down wine. Normalising alcohol as part of life makes them less likely to binge drink when they hit adulthood since they don't just associate it with being wasted or rebelling.

Paul:
Australia knows this is a problem and even has a dedicated task force tackling it in one city (Sydney or Melbourne) to make sure no human rights abuses take place and it's within the scope of the local laws. To be honest, I don't know what those laws are as I've never bothered to check and never lived out East anyway so sorry, I cannot clarify that. Regardless, there was an interesting (and lengthy) interview with the head of the task force up on one of the major news websites (Herald Sun maybe?) websites mere weeks ago.

peasgoodnonsuch:
I just want to touch on a couple of things that were briefly mentioned, but I think should be very much taken into account when thinking about or trying to understand this issue.

First of all, as Justanotherwaygook mentioned, Korean law applies to Koreans abroad. There was the case last year of a rapper smoking pot in the States but being charged like 2 years later when he returned to Korea under Korean law, as well as G-Dragon's more recent and well known issue with pot in Japan. I've ended up in a rather confusing discussion of law with my Korean boyfriend over this issue before as our separate views of law and jurisdiction are radically different due to our cultures. To me, having a nation's jurisdiction follow you around seems absurd and invasive. To him, it's a matter of common sense. This is all to say that prostitution is illegal for Korean citizens no matter where they're practicing it. I do find it rather ironic though that there's been no sort of crack down on Korean men who hire prostitutes in foreign countries....

Now, why is it a big deal? Even if you agree that legal prostitution is OK (and I don't, but that's not really the topic here), the kind of prostitution rings mentioned in the article are not. If you believe that an organized crime group of pimps is going to illegally import young foreign girls to another country and then treat them decently and pay them, you might as well believe in the Easter Bunny. Time and time again, if you read the testimonies of women who have escaped from the sex trade they tell you the same story: "they promised me a good paying job if I went to x country, as soon as I got there they took away my passport, locked me in a room, and beat me until I agreed to pay off my "travel/visa debts" with my body." It's an extremely sad and all too common story of women all around the world. The women (more likely young girls) don't understand what it's really going to be like or that they're actually agreeing to sex slavery. There is no such thing as a voluntary prostitute--not when pimps, madams, and foreign work visas are involved at least.

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