New figures on sex trade anger Seoul
The Ministry of Gender Equality said yesterday that it would demand that the Washington Post newspaper correct an Aug. 23 report which said there are half a million underage Koreans working as prostitutes.
The ministry said it was preparing a letter that will say, “According to the Korea Institute of Criminology’s study commissioned by the Ministry of Gender Equality of South Korea, the number of South Korean females engaged in prostitution was about 330,000 in 2002. Minors constituted only a portion of that total.”
The Washington Post published the estimate in an article on Aug. 23.
The newspaper used statistics from ECPAT International, an international organization established to eradicate prostitution among minors, according to the ministry.
“ECPAT International’s statistics are based on a personal estimate of Kim Gang-ja, a former senior police officer in Korea,” said the letter.
“But when the National Police Agency of Korea talked to her, Ms. Kim failed to provide the source of her estimate.”
The ministry said it would send the same letter to ECPAT International.
by Moon Kyung-ran