Last Updated: Friday, 27 November 2015, 12:04 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2002 Trafficking in Persons Report - Republic of Korea

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 5 June 2002
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2002 Trafficking in Persons Report - Republic of Korea, 5 June 2002, available at: [accessed 29 November 2015]
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.

Republic of Korea (Tier 1)

The Republic of Korea is a source, transit and destination country for trafficking in persons. Koreans are trafficked to Japan and the United States for sexual exploitation. Persons from the Philippines, China, Southeast Asian countries, Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union are trafficked to Korea or transit Korea en route to Japan and the United States.

The Government of the Republic of Korea fully complies with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, including making serious and sustained efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking in persons with respect to law enforcement, protection of victims and prevention of trafficking. Although there is no trafficking law per se, a number of provisions in the Criminal Code and the Act on Additional Punishment for Specific Crimes were used to prosecute traffickers in more than 100 cases in 2001. Additional law enforcement efforts include judicial and law enforcement training, participation in international and regional conferences on organized crime and trafficking, and cooperation with other governments on extradition. The Joint Task Force on Trafficking in Persons, established in December 2001, is comprised of prosecutors who investigate organized criminal syndicates and close businesses conducive to trafficking. Efforts to close loopholes in transit procedures and border crossings are being initiated. The government has been active in victim protection, and supports programs to protect victims. The government has also provided funding for domestic NGOs for the operation of shelters for victims of trafficking. The Immigration Bureau operates regional centers for foreign workers; these centers provide counseling, medical treatment, and assistance with disputes over wages and working conditions. Victims are encouraged to assist authorities in prosecuting traffickers; the government protects victims' privacy and tries to guard against retaliation by traffickers. Although services for foreign and child victims have substantially increased recently, assistance measures for returning Korean victims could be enhanced to deter further exploitation. Efforts to prevent trafficking have been developed. An interagency Committee for Countermeasures to Prevent Trafficking in Persons was created in July 2001. The government has promoted a public awareness campaign consisting of booklets, posters, media presentations and study camps for youth. Funding is also provided to NGOs to help both domestic and foreign women out of prostitution. The government is planning additional information campaigns for foreign workers and those in the entertainment industry.

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