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주제어: 성매매, 성매매방지법, 여성인권, 매춘
Anti-Prostitution Acts and Human Rights
Professor, Konkuk Univ.
Two Anti-Prostitution Acts of 2004 are said to fully reflect mainstream feminists claim for special measure to prevent prostitution and to protect prostitutes: These acts are designed to replace old policy of criminalisation of prostitution with more correctional one for rehabilitation of the prostitutes. These acts, for the first time in Korean legal system, takes standpoint that prostitution is equivalent to human traffic, and try to do away with such evils by punishing severely pimps and by discharging any contractual obligations made in such oppressive circumstances.
After one year has passed from the time of their application, however, one can hardly be sure that such intents of the legislators have been so effectively and/or efficiently achieved. Of course, there have been some evidences that these acts have worked to change the situation: the number of brothel has been reduced by 36.8% and that of the employed by 52.3% for one year. But there have been so many counter-evidences that say unprecedented increase in the number and size of quasi-prostitution industries such as massage parlors, cyber prostitutions, escort services, decadent entertainment establishments and so on.
This paper has tried to analyse such dys-function of these acts and to make some relevant conclusions that these acts can never be victories of Korean feminism over patriarchal system of sex industry. Rather, they constitute another form of androcracy coupled with capitalist oppression and exploitation against women: They only have shifted the subject of domination from one kind of men to another kind of men. Partly such failures result from their defects in system-design, in that, they rely too much on prohibition and punishment of pimping and sex-buying behavior. Punishment without alternative remedy can easily cause some behaviors trying to get around the law, and sex industries know so well those easy ways. Bureaucratic red-tapes constitute another reason for such failures. Officials are hardly concerned with welfare of the prostitutes, but with their actual results of patrolling and arresting “criminals”.
In order to be reach more perfection, this paper should inquire the problem whether the current system that criminalize prostitution shall be abolished and the sex works shall be legally admitted. But this paper does not go so far, because there should be so much more discussions and investigations on the present situations and social consciousness of such sex-services. Instead, this paper tries to pose some motives for raising questions on present anti-prostitution system and for setting more liberal agenda toward transformation of such system to liberalization of all the oppressed and exploited women, who are now called “prostitutes”.
Key words: Prostitution, Anti-Prostitution Acts, Human Rights
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