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07 nov 2015

MRS No. 9 - A Review of Data on Trafficking in the Republic of Korea

The US Trafficking in Persons Report (July 2001) included South Korea among 23 countries that, in the eyes of the US State Department, failed to meet minimum standards in attempting to stop the trafficking in human beings (mostly women and children) who are exploited as prostitutes or placed in low-paying jobs with abusive employers.

While the Report mentioned the “trafficking” of South Korean women to Japan or to the West, as well as instances of Chinese women trafficked via South Korea to the West, it failed to notice that South Korea itself a receiving country of trafficked women from countries such as the Philippines, the Russian Federation and other nations of the former Soviet Union.

This IOM report is the first English language survey on trafficking into South Korea that systematically presents relevant data and research findings on this serious and growing phenomenon. In approaching this sensitive and difficult issue, it takes a balanced approach by including both the South Korean Governenment’s responses to the above Trafficking in Persons report, as well as the viewpoints of South Korean NGOs. English translations of trafficking-related laws in South Korea are also included.


  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Migration in Korea
  • The Scale and Organization of Trafficking in South Korea
  • Working Conditions - The South Korean Entertainment Industry
  • Responses of the Government of South Korea and of South Korean NGOs
  • Summary and Recommendations
  • Appendix
  • Notes
  • References