Last Updated: Friday, 27 May 2016, 08:49 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2001 Trafficking in Persons Report - South Korea

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 12 July 2001
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2001 Trafficking in Persons Report - South Korea, 12 July 2001, available at: [accessed 28 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

South Korea (Tier 3)

South Korea is a country of origin and transit for trafficking in persons. Young female Koreans are trafficked primarily for sexual exploitation, mainly to the United States, but also to other Western countries and Japan. Female aliens from many countries, primarily Chinese women, are trafficked through Korea to the United States and many other parts of the world. In addition to trafficking through the air, much transit traffic occurs in South Korean territorial waterways by ship.

While South Korea is a leader in the region on human rights and democracy generally, the Government has done little to combat this relatively new and worsening problem of trafficking in persons. Although it does prosecute alien smuggling activities such as visa fraud and possession or sale of fraudulent civil documents, there are no laws that specifically address trafficking. There are statutes against kidnapping and sale or purchase of sexual services with a juvenile, and maximum penalties for these are commensurate with those for rape. Although corruption occurs, there is no evidence that government officials are involved in trafficking in persons. Aliens are treated as immigration violators and deported. No government assistance is available for trafficking victims or to support NGO's involved in assisting trafficking victims.

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