English-to-Korean Translator Needed!

English-to-Korean Translator Wanted(Source)

I’ve been asked to pass on the following:

Research Project Korea is urgently looking for an English-to-Korean translator for a one-off translation job.

In May, leading German news magazine DER SPIEGEL published a deeply flawed and heavily biased cover story about the alleged failure of the German prostitution law. (see here) The article, published in German and English, is since being used by anti-prostitution activists and politicians as “evidence” that the German prostitution law lead to an increase in human trafficking in Germany, although official statistics by the federal criminal police (BKA) show the opposite is true.

A Korean sex worker has informed me that several Korean newspapers recently published articles about the SPIEGEL report, which jeopardises the ongoing review of Korea’s Anti-Sex Trade Law by the Korean Supreme Court. We are therefore looking for a translator who will translate a detailed critique, written by Sonja Dolinsek and myself, in which we debunk the claims of the SPIEGEL report, to make it available to Korean audiences.

Does legal prostitution really increase human trafficking in Germany? | Feminist Ire
The text has 17,382 characters (with spaces), equalling 316 lines. You can view the article here.

Please contact Matthias Lehmann at yongsagisa[at]gmail[dot]com and include a sample of your work and a quote of how much you would like to be paid. We are planning a fundraiser to be able to pay for the translation.

Research Project Korea examines the impact of Korea’s Anti-Sex Trade Law on sex workers’ human rights. If this is the first time you visit our blog, please read the About page or our guest post on The Grand Narrative.

Workshop: “U.S. Military Camptown Prostitution in Korea: 1945-Present”

I’ve been asked to pass on the following:

As you may or may not know, the House of Sharing International Outreach Team has recently regrouped under the name, Women’s Global Solidarty Action Network. Our new expanded goals include focusing on issues of sexual slavery, trafficking women and the “comfort women” issue. This Saturday (June 9th), we will be hosting a workshop under the title “U.S. Military Camptown Prostitution in Korea: 1945-Present”. The workshop will be given by Professor Nah Young Lee.

To get to the center, take line 4 to the Sungshin Women’s University Entrance (성신여자대학교입구) stop. Go out exit 4 and a building with a traditional Korean roof (hanok) will be in front of you. Go into the building and up to the second floor. Please note the center is very close to exit 4, and not on the University’s campus.

For more information, email womens.global.solidarity@gmail.com, visit the Facebook event page, or contact Shannon at 010-4534-1553.

“Good women need our help, bad women need to be punished” — Learning about Sex Workers’ Rights in South Korea

Caption: South Korean women working in the sex industry stand on a stage during a rally in central Seoul on September 22, 2011 in protest at frequent crackdowns by authorities. About 1,500 women wearing masks to conceal their identities chanted slogans such as ‘Sex work is not a crime, but labour!’ and called for the abolition of a special law enacted in 2004 to curb prostitution. [Photo: Jung Yeon-Je — AFP/Getty Images]

[James] — Since September 2011, German-born researcher Matthias Lehmann has been conducting an independent research project to investigate the impact of South Korea’s Anti-Sex Trade Laws on sex workers’ human rights and livelihood. In this guest post for The Grand Narrative, he outlines key events that led to the adoption of the problematic law and the motivation for his research:

Korea’s Anti-Sex Trade Laws

In September 2000, the notorious Gunsan Brothel Fire killed five women who had been held captive. Their tragic deaths exposed the conditions in Korea’s sex industry and triggered a campaign by women’s rights activists to reform the country’s prostitution laws. Their proposals became the blueprint for the Special Laws on Sex Trade (성매매특별법, Seongmaemae Tteukbyeolbeob), enacted in 2004, which include a Prevention Act and a Punishment Act. By passing these new laws, the government vowed to eliminate prostitution and protect victims of exploitation and violence in the sex industry.

The laws drew inspiration from the Swedish Violence Against Women Act (the Kvinnofrid law) from 1999, which criminalises the purchase of sexual services but aims to protect women working in the sex industry. The success of the Swedish model remains heavily contested. In 2010, the government issued an evaluation report that found that the law had achieved its objectives, to which government member Camilla Lindberg and opposition member Marianne Berg responded by publishing a bi-partisan article stating that the law had not only failed to protect women but instead hurt them, and thus had to be repealed.

In Korea, the Special Laws on Sex Trade remain a subject of debate. The Ministry of Gender Equality celebrated the legislation as a milestone achievement that would “vigorously strengthen the protection of the human rights of women in prostitution”. However, others criticise the legislation’s discriminatory attitude towards sex workers, who remain criminalised unless they claim to be victims. This “distinction between victims and those who [voluntarily] sell sex is actually one between protection and punishment” and categorises women into “good women who are worthy of help” and “bad ones who need to be punished”, thus continuing the stigmatisation of women who sell sex.

The Criminalisation of Prostitution Has Failed

Surveys have shown time and again, that despite being illegal, prostitution remains widespread in South Korea. Most recently, a state-funded survey found that 53 per cent of Korea’s sexually active senior citizens bought sex at brothels. A 2005 study found that “only 6 per cent of crimes occurred through the intermediary of a brothel, compared to 34 per cent via the internet, 26 per cent in massage parlours and barber shops.” The same study stated that the Anti-Sex Trade Laws had simply forced prostitutes further underground and overseas, as well as resulted in an increase in Korean sex tourists, a development very similar to that in Sweden.

According to the recent Report of the UNAIDS Advisory Group on HIV and Sex Work, “the approach of criminalising the client has been shown to backfire on sex workers. In Sweden, sex workers who were unable to work indoors were left on the street with the most dangerous clients and little choice but to accept them. … [Criminal laws] create an environment of fear and marginalisation for sex workers, who often have to work in remote and unsafe locations to avoid arrest of themselves or their clients. These laws can undermine sex workers’ ability to work together to identify potentially violent clients and their capacity to demand condom use of clients.”

Caption: Screenshot from a short film by Istvan Gabor Takacs, Hungarian Civil Liberties Union and the Sex Workers’ Rights Advocacy Network

Research Project Korea

Conducting research into the human rights situation of Korean sex workers is of particular importance because, while Korean sex workers have some links to the global sex workers’ rights movement, too little is known about their everyday experiences.

Since 2004, Korean sex workers have repeatedly staged organised protests against the Anti-Sex Trade Laws and police harassment, most famously in May 2011, when pictures of sex workers dousing themselves in flammable liquid made global headlines.

Caption: South Korean prostitutes in underwear and covered in body and face paint, douse themselves in flammable liquid in an apparent attempt to burn themselves after a rally in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, May 17, 2011. Hundreds of prostitutes and pimps rallied Tuesday near a red-light district in Seoul to protest a police crackdown on brothels, with some unsuccessfully attempting to set themselves on fire. [AP Photo/Lee Jin-man]

But despite an even bigger protest last September, the human rights situation of sex workers remains grim. While I cannot yet estimate the frequency of such occurrences, it is evident that verbal and physical abuses against sex workers are common features of police raids in the Korean sex industry, as is corruption.

Human Rights become Collateral Damage

Through my previous research and work in the field of human trafficking prevention, I have gained a deeper insight into the negative side effects of anti-trafficking policies. Research by the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women found that some of them are undesired or unexpected, while others result from problems related to the implementation of new legislation, such as the lack of knowledge, training or aptitude of law enforcement officials.

But there are also desired side effects, resulting from policies that are intentionally worded vaguely and do little more than to satisfy what international human rights standards require. As a result, human rights quickly become the collateral damage of urban redevelopment projects, such as in Seoul’s Yeongdeungpo district, or efforts to curb unofficial migration and undocumented labour.

The conflation of anti-trafficking measures with campaigns to eradicate the sex industry has resulted in uneven policies that do not help the majority of trafficking victims, but instead drive the sex industry further underground, cutting off sex workers from their usual support networks.

Improving sex work-related legislation is a hotly contested issue that deserves to be discussed on the basis of sound knowledge, which I like to contribute to through my research. However, my project is not just meant to add to academic or legal discourses.

Graphic Novel about Sex Work

Sex workers often rightly criticise researchers, politicians or the media for distorting the reality of the sex industry. We are therefore developing a graphic novel entirely based on experiences shared with us by sex workers in Korea. It will be made available in both English and Korean, with the publication planned for the second half of this year.

Many Koreans have a keen interest in supporting humanitarian causes abroad. Yet, I have found that they are often quite surprised to learn that the hardships that sex workers endure in Korea can be quite different from their expectations.

Through the graphic novel, we would like to help making the situation of Korean sex workers known to a wider audience, both in Korea and abroad, in order for people to better understand that sex workers are part of their communities and deserve the same rights just as everyone else.

Research Project Korea + You!

Research Project Korea is an independent research project, unaffiliated to any university or organisation and exclusively funded by private donations. We publish regular updates on the project’s website, where you can also learn more about my team, and you can follow us via Facebook and Twitter. A Korean language section will be added to the website shortly.

Please visit our website to learn how you can support us and how our funds are spent.

WordPress: http://researchprojectkorea.wordpress.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Research.Project.Korea
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/photogroffee

Further information and highly recommended viewing/reading

[VIDEO] “We want to save you. And if you don’t appreciate it, we will punish you!”
Swedish sexworker Pye Jacobsson on the criminalization of clients
http://swannet.org/node/1512

[ARTICLE] Wendy Lyon “UNAIDS Advisory Group condemns Swedish sex purchase ban”
http://feministire.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/unaids-advisory-group-condemns-swedish-sex-purchase-ban/

[VIDEO] South Korean sex workers rally | Reuters News Agency
http://www.reuters.com/video/2011/09/22/south-korean-sex-workers-rally?videoId=221848792

[IMAGES] South Korean Prostitutes Protest Closing of Brothels
http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,2072487,00.html

[ORGANISATION] Giant Girls – Korean Sex Workers Union
http://www.ggSexworker.org

[ORGANISATION] Hanteo – National Sex Workers Union
http://www.han-teo.co.kr

What IS the Age of Consent in South Korea?

Considering the abysmal state of sex education in Korea, part and parcel of a society reluctant to admit that teenagers have sex or even sexuality, then the notion that it’s only thirteen sounds simply absurd.

Despite myself though, that’s precisely what I’m going to argue.

Not because that’s the consensus of English-language materials on the subject however. The vast majority never provide a source for their information on South Korea specifically (see here, here, here and here for some examples), and following the trail of those of that do almost invariably leads to a chart of the age of consent in various countries on Wikipedia, itself unsourced (but which has recently been edited as I’ll explain). Indeed, highlighting how problematic that makes them was my original intention in writing this post.

But first, the catalyst was this post at Omona They Didn’t!, a popular K-pop site. There, commenters discussed singer G-Dragon’s (지드래곤) concert performance below that featured simulated sex scenes, and which he is now being investigated for (but not yet prosecuted) because it had been rated suitable only for ages twelve and above (see here, here, here, here and here for the latest developments). Arguably somewhat arbitrary and hypocritical considering similar performances by other singers that haven’t been, the outrage is even stranger if the age of consent is thirteen, as pointed out there by a commenter with the handle “hallerness.”

(Update: See here for a detailed explanation of what exactly happened at the concert and the legal response, including an interview with the performer on the bed)

Queried on that low age by other commenters though, this blog got mentioned, and she emailed me asking for clarification. With apologies for the delay, this post is my response.

The first step in preparing it was simply to ask my students. But although their confusion was not entirely unexpected (whereas I’ve been writing about Korean sexuality for a long time now!), it still took a great deal of time and effort to explain what the concept was.

Not to imply that they’re stupid and/or ignorant of course, but that Korean adults needed an explanation at all is surely indicative of how alien the notion of teenage sexuality is here (or at least public discussion of it).

Once that was out of the way, then all said it was 18, like I also thought: after all, almost everything else sex-related is, including buying contraception, having access to or appearing in pornographic materials, and working in de facto sex-related industries. But they had no idea of what the Korean term was, hesitant suggestions including 법정나이 (literally “correct age”) and 법적나이제한 (correct age limit).

Turning to an online dictionary next then, I found 성관계 승낙 연령 (sexual relationship consent age) instead, with the explanation 합법적으로 성관계를 승낙할 수 있는 연령 (legally sexual relationship can consent to age). Paste it into Korean search engines, and you do get some results, although most appear to be about Canada (see a little later for why). Rather than wading through those though, I had no hesitation in turning to Matt at Gusts of Popular Feeling instead, who has written a great deal about teenage prostitution. And fortunately he does have a post in which he discusses this issue.

To be specific, it is about controversial rulings in two teenage prostitution cases in July 2001 and July 2009 (known in Korean as wonjo gyoje; 원조 교제). And while technically The Korea Times articles he quotes also do not mention any specific law, the age of consent being thirteen proved crucial in both cases, and I recommend reading his post in full to understand why.

From the 2001 article (link broken):

Under related laws, those who have sex with minors younger than 13 should be punished, regardless of whether the minors agreed or whether there was a financial deal. However, having sex with minors aged 13 or older, which does not involve financial deals, is not punishable if the minor consents.

And from the 2009 one:

In Korea, a person is not guilty of any crime for having sex with a minor aged 13 and over unless it is paid for or forced. Sex with those under the age of 13 is punishable even if it is carried out under mutual consent.

And Matt’s reaction was exactly the same as mine would have been. In particular:

….I found the age of consent shocking because I’d heard for so long that it was 19. Keep in mind that in the 1990s I think Canada’s age of consent went from 16 to 14 (or 12, if the other person was 14) which I also thought was quite low. It recently was put back up to 16 due to people considered predators on MySpace, etc. finding young girls to sleep with [James: which is what most Korean articles on 성관계 승낙 연령 were about]. Considering Korea’s internet culture and the fact so much wonjo gyoje is organized online, you’d think more would have been done by now….

…I’m surprised that the age of consent hasn’t been raised here, considering, as I mentioned, how much online activity is to be found with men looking to have sex with underaged girls, and how it’s routinely stated (even by the police on their website) that the age of consent is actually 19. Also, considering how in the late 1990s how youth sexuality and changing youth behavior (and rising crime, including sex crimes) was discussed as if teens were a virus infecting society, the low age of consent is perplexing – not looked at through a moral lens, but through the discourse in the media surrounding teens at the time (and to a lesser extent now).

(Source)

Six months earlier, he wrote the following on this post of mine about a 14 year-old Korean model that posed nude, and I’d be interested if the second case in 2009 changed his mind:

…“However, having sex with minors aged 13 or older, which does not involve financial deals, is not punishable if the minor consents.” That contradicts the 19 year old age of consent the police say they adhere to, but if I have to choose between the police and a 7 year-old KT article, I’ll go with the police.

And when I wrote that post, the Wikipedia entry on the age of consent in South Korea gave it as 13n, citing this chart as a source but which in turn implies that the entry for South Korea comes only from “verified information from our correspondents,” given that the other sources cited there have no information about South Korea. Very recently though, the Wikipedia entry has been edited to “The age of consent in South Korea is not currently known,” and if you go on to examine the discussion about that this is what you find:

I’d hoped that that link to the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency would save me the trouble of following up Matt’s mentions of it myself, but unfortunately it doesn’t appear to be working, and besides which might be unreliable like “Truthfulchat” pointed out.

So, if Matt doesn’t read this post for himself first, then I’ll contact him for help with that source from the Korean police (I’ve given up trying to navigate their various sites), and besides which would be very grateful for his input. As I type this however, I’ve had my long-suffering wife looking on her computer for more Korean sources (her Korean is rather better than mine!), and yet after twenty minutes she has only been able to find this page from a 2007 book entitled Gyoyanginul Ouihan Saegyaesa (교양인을 위한 세계사), or World History for Civilized People by Kim Yun-tae:

With apologies for the small size, that states that in Korea the age of consent is 18 for men, and 16 for women!

In conclusion then, to put it mildly the jury is still out on what the age of consent in Korea is, and so this seems an opportune moment to throw open the floor to suggestions on how to continue from readers, which would be very much appreciated (not least by my wife!).

Before I do though, if you’re curious then the first two images above (source), then they are from the 2006 movie Dasepo Naughty Girls (다세포 소녀), which appears to be an excellent satire on Korean sexual mores; see here for an extensive review by – who else? – Matt. And finally, although they’re not related at all sorry, the more I wrote this post the more the following safe sex posters (NSFW) by James Jean kept coming to mind:

(Source: I Believe in ADV)

See BoingBoing for an extensive comments thread about them.

(NSFW) Korean Movie Review #3: Samaritan Girl/Samaria (2004)

( Source: Naver Movies )

To my surprise, there can actually be some advantages to being a fledgling movie reviewer.

For instance, lacking the knowledge of experts, I can drop all pretense of objectivity. And indeed, my long-held preconceptions of this movie did have a profound effect on my ultimate enjoyment of it.

Also, only having seen one other of director Kim Ki-duk’s (김기덕) earlier works in passing – The Isle (2000) –  then I am in no position to analyze Samaritan Girl/Samaria (사마라아) in the context of his movies as a whole.

Well of course, I hear you say. But this is more important than it may at first appear.

This is because of the plethora of reviews already available, I have noticed that positive ones tend to include extensive references to Kim’s Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring (2003) in particular, while negative ones are more likely to analyze the movie in isolation. Not exclusively of course, but the division is noticeable. Rather than implying a potential forest for the trees phenomenon here though, I mention it because I have also heard Kim’s movies are very hit and miss, and hence that your opinion of them can be heavily affected by which film you watch first.

And therein lies the problem, for much about Samartian Girl is vague, confused and/or simply incomprehensible, and not in the positive sense that this encourages you to engage more with the movie in order to fill in the blanks. And while I strongly suspect that watching his earlier movies would clarify a great deal, by itself this movie would not encourage most viewers to do so.

( Source: Naver Movies )

In fairness though, I did set myself up for being disappointed.

I first heard of it two years ago, via a newspaper article I translated about how 3 in 10 internet dating sites were being used to arrange teenage prostitution. While I haven’t really pursued the subject since, deferring to the excellent work done by Matt at Gusts of Popular Feeling on it instead, the post was picked up by Shinsano at the East Windup Chronicle (as well as by Matt himself), and the back and forth I had with him there gave me the impression that Kim was a much-needed Korean social critic, welcome overseas but ostracized at home because of his constant airing of Korea’s dirty laundry.

That image of him is by no means incorrect. But despite not having seen it, somehow it also inflated the quality of the movie in my mind over the next two years, especially as the blog came to acquire its present focus. Suffice to say that by the time I finally began to watch it last week, I fully expected a fierce and piercing critique of the teenage prostitution industry here.

But just the marketing of the movie itself should have given me pause.

Consider the two promotional posters above from 2004, featuring Kwak Ji-min (곽지민) and Han Yeo-reum (한려름) respectively. Never mind that Kwak is topless, and as a minor when the picture was taken, meant that it was technically illegal; as this case with a 14 year-old in January and this case with an 18 year-old earlier this month demonstrate, the Korean authorities still seem strangely reluctant to prosecute this sort of thing. Rather, the point is that far from discouraging one from having sex with minors, both posters seem to be positively encouraging it.

True, as author of this blog, I can hardly fault someone for using such images for the sake of popularity, even if they send mixed messages. Also, at risk of sounding hypocritical, I’m not going to feign outrage at topless photos of someone just a few months shy of the legal age to pose for them either. But I do have my limits:

( Source: Celebrity Movie Archive )

This is the second of two bathhouse scenes in the movie, at just 6 minutes and 16 minutes into it respectively. Neither is entirely pointless: the implied lesbian relationship is central to understanding why Kwak Ji-min, pimping for Han Yeo-reum as they save money for permanently escaping to Europe, clearly becomes distressed when Han shows signs of enjoying her work, in particular becoming attached to one of her clients, a music composer. Derek Elly at Variety also notes that:

Wisely, Kim has opted not to show the sex scenes [with clients], and there’s tenderness (with gently lyrical music) in those sequences sketching the girls’ friendship — playing in a park together, or bonding in a Korean-style bathhouse.

Apparently so much tenderness though, that it put blinders on this unnamed reviewer at Asian Film Reviews:

There is minimal nudity in this movie, which is surprising considering the subject matter. The lack of nudity preserves the girls’ innocence and reinforces the integrity of the movie. If Samaritan Girl featured explicit sex, it would seem trashy and the message would be lost in all of the excess. Instead, this movie is a tender, touching story about shattered dreams and lost innocence.

TR at TimeOut London puts it rather differently however:

The actual paedophile sex is kept offscreen, but Kim’s enraptured gaze at the two naked girls washing each other in a public bath is as prurient as they come.

And while both scenes were certainly compelling viewing at the time, I was left wondering if it was really necessary to see them naked to appreciate their bond?

( Source: Naver Movies )

Probably not, and this adds a certain poignancy to what Adam Hartzel writes about Ki Ki-duk at KoreanFilm.org:

In tag-lining his Silver Berlin Bear award-winning film Samaritan Girl with the biblical reference, “He who is without sin, throw the first stone,” director Kim Ki-duk has allowed himself cover from critics. Such a tagline deflects any negative criticism before the critic has even criticized. It argues that only the critic who is without criticism themselves should throw damning words at Kim’s film, otherwise, the critic should remain silent. And who among us is without “sin”, hypocrites that we all are? Such underscores the marketing acumen, if not directorial skill, of Kim, a man who has quickly risen, justified or not, to become one of the most recognizable Korean directors throughout the world…

In combination with the posters then, those scenes were arguably far more for commercial reasons rather than the artistic ones Kim Ki-duk is better known for. While that does not make Samaritan Girl a bad movie in itself though, it does point to an emphasis on style over substance that plagues the entire movie, and after just 6 minutes into it to boot.

To a certain extent, this criticism is just personal taste. Friends that recommended Peppermint Candy to me for instance, only to be dismayed by my scathing review of it later, have since pointed out my preference seems to be for movies where everything is explained to viewers. That’s a fair assessment, and indeed my incomprehension at Kwak’s bizarre decision to sleep with all of Han’s former clients after her death, returning their money as some form of atonement (hence the title), means that I would have been unlikely to have ever warmed to Samaritan Girl. And in hindsight, being aware of that element of the plot is what put me off from watching it for two years too.

But I can still acknowledge the benefits of such an approach, and indeed to have provided more detail would probably have detracted from the haunting, slight surreal tone of the film, with occasional combinations of long, drawn-out, but otherwise compelling scenes and stunning cinematography that reminded a newbie like me of, well, the Italian movie Il conformista (1970). There is also a lot of symbolism and references to Christianity, redemption, and – most notably in my book – there is the decision by Kwak and one client to have a liaison on the riverbank in front of the National Assembly Building. A metaphor for something deeper perhaps? A thinly-veiled political message?

( Source: Naver Movies )

Alas, probably not. While it would be unfair of me to criticize Samaritan Girl for completely lacking the piercing critique of teenage prostitution I had projected onto it (albeit not unreasonably given Kim’s reputation),  I certainly didn’t expect the movie to almost glamorize it instead. But this is no exaggeration: with the exception of the composer Han became attached to, all of Kim’s clients treat her with (paternalistic) respect and kindness for instance (one can understand Han’s affection for them), most liasons take place in immaculate hotel rooms, and some immediately see the error of their ways after Kim surprises them by giving money back to them afterward.

There is no violence, no refusals to wear condoms, no STDs, no pregnancies and abortions, and apparently no impacts whatsoever on Kim herself, who someone manages to sleep with dozens of men in the afternoons despite being an otherwise ordinary middle-school student.

Indeed, the only unwelcome element in this fantasy is the police, first in the form of the officers raiding the hotel, forcing Han to jump to her death from a hotel window in order to escape, and later in Kim’s detective father Lee Eol (이얼), who discovers what she is doing but who chooses to confront Kim’s clients – in increasingly violent episodes – rather than confronting her.

Of course, Samaritan Girl does have some redeeming qualities. Kwak in particular seems to mature as an actor literally over the course of movie, and the tension between her and Lee – an excellent casting choice – that is the focus of the last third of the movie is both palpable and compelling. But both positive and negative reviews of the movie mention that Kim never quite manages a balance between surrealism and providing a convincing story, and even for those that don’t like to be spoon-fed all the details of a story like myself(!), there are simply too many gaps to make the necessary leaps of faith.

( Source: Naver Movies )

Instead of Samaritan Girl then, I heartily recommend You Are My Sunshine (2005) for an examination of the unsavory reality of the Korean prostitution industry, albeit only in passing. But I would appreciate any other suggestions.

Next review: My Wife is a Gangster (조폭 마느라; 2001).

(For all my Korean Movie Reviews, see here)

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3 in 10 Korean dating sites are used for teenage prostitution?

(Source)

애인대행 사이트 10 3청소년도 받아요‘ (3 out of every 10 dating sites are being used by teenage prostitutes to find clients)

“전 17세 여. 경제적으로 큰 도움 주실 분 연락주세요”

애인 대행 사이트 10개 중 3개 이상은 청소년 가입이 가능하고 이중 아르바이트생을 구하는 의뢰인 50% 이상이 성매매(불건전 만남)를 요구하고 있는 것으로 나타났다.

“I am a 17 year old girl. If you can help me financially, please contact me.”

More than 3 out of 10 dating sites allow teenagers to register, and more than 50 percent of these registered teenagers are using the site immorally to solicit sexual services.

국가청소년위원회는 최근 대구YWCA에 의뢰, 인터넷 포털을 통해 접근 가능한 69개 애인 대행 사이트를 모니터링 한 결과 이같이 나타났다고 22일 밝혔다. 청소위는 “애인대행 사이트에서 성매매 유인행위가 많이 일어나고 있어 청소년의 접근을 차단할 필요성이 있다”며 “성매매 등 불법ㆍ불건전 만남을 조장하는 애인대행 사이트에 청소년이 접속할 수 없도록 청소년 유해 매체물 지정을 추진하겠다”고 밝혔다.

청소년위의 조사 결과에 따르면 애인대행 사이트의 청소년의 가입이 가능한 경우는 23개로 33.3%를 차지했다. 이어 청소년의 가입은 불가지만 청소년 유해매체물 표시가 없는 경우가 42개(60.9%)였다. 청소년 연령 확인 및 접근 제한 장치가 있는 경우는 4개(5.8%)에 불과했다.

Recently, the Government Youth Comission asked Daegu YWCA to investigate to what extent teenagers were using 69 adult dating sites that can be found through major internet portals, and today they reported their findings. According to the Commission, “Making money through prostitution via these sites is a very alluring and attractive proposition for teenagers,” and that “the government needs to make greater effort to ensure that teenagers are prevented from gaining access to these sites which promote illegal prostitution and ‘unconditional meetings’.”

According to the Commission, 23 sites of the 69 sites (33.3%) allowed teenagers to register. 42 (60.9%) did not allow teenagers to join, but lacked a special warning indicating this; in the end, only 4 (5.8%) both didn’t allow teenagers to join and had the required software to prevent them from doing so (James – does this mean that teenagers could still join those 42 or not?)

애인대행사이트에 게시된 내용은 ‘강남 지금 만나요’ ‘2:1 대행이요’ ‘경제적으로 큰 도움 주실 분’ ‘술 한잔 하실 분’ ‘밤새 놀려고 하는데 50만원 가지고 뭐하나’ 등 성매매 및 불건전 만남을 조장하는 내용이 대부분이었다.

또 대구YWCA가 2시간 동안 대화방을 개설한 결과 48명의 남성 이용자가 접근, 역할 대행을 의뢰했다. 이 중 성매매 요구가 25건(52%)으로 가장 많았고 홍보 및 대화가 19건(40%), 건전 대행 요구가 4건(8%) 등이었다.

Amongst the chat rooms and message boards of the 23 sites that did allow teenagers to register, you come across personal ads of teenagers, and men seeking them, with titles such as “Let’s meet in Gangnam now,” “2 for 1,” (James – your guess is as good as mine) “Seeking a sugar-daddy,” “Someone to have one drink with,” “I have 500,000 won, what am I going to do all night?,” and so forth, of which the vast majority are obviously for prostitution.

In addition, Daegu YWCA opened a chatroom on one site for 2 hours, and of 48 male users that entered, 25 were blatantly looked for teenage prostitutes, 19 chatted about sexual acts, and only 4 chatted about non-sexual subjects.

주요 포털사이트는 ‘애인대행’ 단어를 금칙어로 적용, 성인인증 및 연령확인을 요구하고 있으나 ‘대행 알바’ ‘애인 알바’ 등 변칙적인 방법으로 올라오는 애인 대행 사이트에 대해서는 개별적인 조치를 취하고 있다.

청소년위는 “69개 애인대행사이트에 대해 청소년 유해성 여부를 심의하도록 정보통신윤리위원회에 요청할 것”이라며 “포털사이트에 대해서도 애인대행 등 금칙어 적용 및 성인인증을 요구할 계획”이라고 밝혔다.

Major portal sites do not allow you to type in obvious search terms for teenage prostitutes, and require proof of your age. But both prostitutes and clients are adapting and choosing new terms to direct each other to their various chatrooms and sites instead.

The Commission concluded that they are going to request that the Korea Internet Safety Commission look more closely at these 69 sites for the sake of teenager’s welfare, and they will also ask the owners of the 69 sites studied to not allow the search terms used for prostitution that are already banned on internet portals to be used on their sites also.

(See Joins News for the original article, or here for the same at the author’s own site)