Month: April 2014

Facts Everyone Should Know About Human Trafficking

Posted on Updated on

written by gkim

Global Human Trafficking Facts

  • Human trafficking or modern day slavery describes the act of victims being subjected to involuntary servitude, forcing victims into prostitution/sexual slavery/the sex industry, and/or compelling, urging, exploiting, supporting victims to commit sexual acts for the purpose of creating pornography, online sex chats, or stripping—all through abduction, threat, deception, peonage, coercion, debt bondage, abuse of power, forced drug usage, or violence. Human trafficking not only involves sex and labor, but people are also trafficked for organ harvesting.

    Photo Credit: ccasa.org
    Photo Credit: ccasa.org
  • According to the US Department of Justice, there are approximately 27 million to 30 million slaves today, and approximately 79% are exploited sexually, with 18% being categorized as labor trafficking.
  • According to the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, worldwide, almost 20% of all trafficking victims are children. However, in some parts of the world such as the African or Southeast Asian regions, children are the majority (up to 100% in parts of West Africa or the Mekong Region—Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Southern China, Cambodia).

    Photo Credit: ungift.org
    Photo Credit: ungift.org
  • The continent of Asia is the largest supply of human trafficking industry. According to the International Labor Organization, the human trafficking industry generates about 32 billion dollars yearly. Asia contributes 9.7 billion, and 15.5 billion come from other industrialized countries.
  • According to the UN Global Compact Organization, 98% of trafficked victims who are sexually exploited are women and girls. 56% of trafficked victims who are in forced labor/economic exploitation are women and girls.
  • Human Trafficking is the fastest-growing business of organized crime and the third-largest criminal enterprise in the world, set to surpass drugs and arms trafficking within the next five years.
  • Globally, the average cost of one slave is $90 USD.
  • According to the U.S. State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year.
  • Punishment for trafficking humans is lower than for trafficking drugs, and profits for trafficking humans are higher than for trafficking drugs.
  • According to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), over the past 30 years, over 30 million children have been sexually exploited through human trafficking.
  • Global warming and severe natural disasters have left millions homeless and impoverished, which has created desperate people easily exploited by human traffickers.
  • The average age of a trafficked victim can range from 12 to 24 years old. However there are children as young as 6 years old being trafficked.

    Photo Credit: cnmnewz.com
    Photo Credit: cnmnewz.com
  • Prostitution is illegal in 109 countries, legal in 77 countries, and restricted (selling sex is legal but organized brothels are illegal) in 11 countries. Five countries do not have any laws for prostitution. Prostitution is illegal in almost all Asian countries where human trafficking is the most significant, but laws aren’t enforced properly. Countries that have legalized prostitution in the past have seen an influx in sex trafficking. i.e. Germany, Colombia
  • According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the majority of sex trafficking is international, with victims taken from such places as South and Southeast Asia, the former Soviet Union, Central and South America, and other less developed areas and moved to more developed ones, including Asia, the Middle East, Western Europe, and North America.
  • According to the World Health Organization and US Department of State, sex trafficking plays a major role in the spreading of AIDS. HIV/AIDS represents both a cause and consequence of trafficking for sexual exploitation. Women and children may be more vulnerable to being trafficked if their family members have contracted HIV or have died from AIDS. Women and children who have been trafficked for sexual exploitation are at greater risk of exposure to HIV/AIDS. Once trafficked, women and girls who have been infected with HIV often do not have access to health care services and are deprived of any support as they are often shunned and stigmatized by their communities.
  • Nine out of ten women who escape from North Korea end up being trafficked for sex. It is a destination for trafficking of children, men, and women for sex and labor.

    Photo Credit: thatlinkproject.com
    Photo Credit: thatlinkproject.com
  • A human trafficker can earn 20 times what he or she paid for a girl. Provided the girl was not physically brutalized to the point of ruining her beauty, the pimp could sell her again for a greater price because he had trained her and broken her spirit, which saves future buyers the hassle. A 2003 study in the Netherlands found that, on average, a single sex slave earned her pimp at least $250,000 a year.
  • Amnesty International has reported that NATO soldiers, UN police, and Western aid workers “operated with near impunity in exploiting the victims of the sex traffickers.”
  • Usually, if a sex slave is arrested, she is imprisoned while her trafficker is able to buy his way out of trouble.
  • According to a congressional research service report on child sex trafficking, “It is more profitable for a trafficker to prostitute a child than to commit other crimes such as dealing in drugs.” This is because “the commodity (child) is reusable” and “technological innovation has allowed traffickers to reach a wider client base and connect more quickly with buyers.”
  • Forms of labor trafficking can include domestic servitude, agricultural labor, sweatshop factory labor, janitorial, food, and service industry labor, or begging.
  • Labor trafficking is happening in sugar cane fields, coffee bean plantations, cacao bean harvesting for chocolate, cotton plantations, mica mines, raw iron and metal production, garment factories, brick factories, cell phone manufacturing, and coal mining.
  • According to the World Health Organization, over 10,000 organs are sold ever year, translating to one organ sold every hour.
  • An illegal market has capitalized on these individuals’ desperation, and the prospects of large profits are creating unfortunate incentives, with patients willing to pay up to $200,000 for a kidney.  According to the WHO report, 76 percent of organs sold were kidneys, reflecting the growing demand secondary to complications of high blood pressure and diabetes.
  • Doctors and other health-care practitioners, ambulance drivers and mortuary workers are often involved in organ trafficking in addition to those involved in other human trafficking networks. The organs commonly transplanted include kidney, liver, heart, lung and pancreas.
  • In countries like Pakistan, China or India, a person can sell a kidney for $5,000, while those handling the transaction make a substantial profit.
  • The profit for an organ trafficker is 15 times the buying price.
  • According to the UN, the impact of the illegal organ trade is 75 million dollars yearly.

(Few Facts on Sex Trafficking in Korea)

  • According to South Korea’s Ministry for Gender Equality and the Korean Feminist Association, there are anywhere from 500,000 to 1 million victims who are in South Korea’s sex industry today.
  • According to the Korean Institute of Criminology, one-fifth of Korean men buy sex at least four times a month, and Korean men make up the largest ethnic group to seek child prostitutes in Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Philippines, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
  • Most trafficked victims in Korea range anywhere from seven to thirty years in age. There is a decline thereafter due to the lack of demand for older women in the sex industry.

    Photo Credit: sfgate.com
    Photo Credit: sfgate.com
  • One majority are child runaways who have been lured into the sex industry through the internet. Most child runaways have either been sexually/physically abused or confined under intense academic pressures. The other majority are native and foreign workers who have been lured with false advertisements of decent jobs over the internet or in local newspapers. Over 90% of child trafficking in South Korea occurs over the internet. Some are voluntary workers who consider the sex industry as a decent way to earn a living.
  • Different reports suggest that the sex industry accounts for anywhere from 1.4% to 3% of the annual GDP in South Korea which is roughly 14 to 30 trillion Korean won (13 to 25 billion USD) a year.
  • Red light districts, massage parlors, juicy bars, image bars, room salons/roombangs (hostess bars), in-call massages, out-call massages, call girl businesses, kissing rooms, lovetels (motels used for sex), karaoke bars, and night clubs are some of the venues and types of trafficking.
  • South Korea prohibits trafficking for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation, including debt bondage, through its 2004 “Act on the Punishment of Intermediating in the Sex Trade and Associated Acts.” Although this law is in place, it has not been enforced properly.
  • The Ministry of Justice runs 29 “John schools,” set up to educate male “clients” of prostitution, which are one-day seminars—in lieu of criminal punishment. NGOs report that there is only one counseling center and two shelters in the country dedicated to foreign victims of sex trafficking.
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Korean Sex Establishments–part 3–Doemi Services

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singing in karaoke

written by gkim

Doemi services, otherwise known as karaoke bar call girl services, are growing at an alarming rate. They are a rapidly growing Korean phenomenon in the sex industry. Overall, the Koreatowns around the USA are said to have a cumulative total of about 5000 to 7000 doemis waiting on standby to be called to a karaoke bar (noraebang) per night on the weekends. This is how a doemi business operates: A group of people will go into a karaoke bar to rent a room by the hour (which is a pretty common form of social entertainment in the Korean community). Then they will either call the doemis directly, or they’ll ask the karaoke bar to call a doemi service on their behalf. The doemis will usually be waiting around in vans or streets outside the karaoke bar so that they are within walking distance if they are called. Once they are called, they enter the room they were called to inside the karaoke bar, and they basically begin to set a party vibe. They will sing, drink, and dance with the group at a rate anywhere from $60-$100 an hour. Many of these doemis accept sexual requests if they develop a bond with someone they meet, or if someone offers them a certain amount of money. This trend, which slowly trickled over from South Korea into the U.S. starting about 6 years ago, has grown out of control.

The doemi business has expanded so much that it has become quite difficult to differentiate between the doemi girls and regular club and bar hopping party-goers in the Koreatown night life. It seems like a new, popular and fun fad that Korean culture is going through, however it is extremely harmful for many reasons. Doemis are victimized whether they are aware of it or not. They are God’s precious daughters.

Here are some basic facts everyone–customers and doemis–should be aware of:

  • This doemi business is becoming a gateway into a more hardcore sector of the sex industry. Many doemis never imagine they will eventually succumb to a darker side of the industry, but a lot of them do.
  • It’s addictive because the money is quickly earned, and as time passes, the girl may be coerced or succumb to saying yes to just about anything.
  • There are health implications associated with consuming large amounts of alcohol in one night while hopping from one group to another while working with different parties. Sometimes drugs can be available and the girls are exposed to and pressured into trying it with their groups.
  • The girls are exposed and vulnerable to being fondled and harassed verbally and physically because they are being paid.
  • It is demeaning and objectifying for girls to dress in provocative gear and get paid to entertain a group of people to be seductive, sexual, and ogled, although actual sex may not occur in the karaoke room.
  • Paying for girls to provide entertainment is not the same as paying for a violinist to play the violin for you. The doemi services are pure objectification, exploitation, and violation of women as human beings.
  • Doemi girls make easy money, therefore many end up feeling shameful and are stigmatized by society. The ones I have spoken to who have gotten out of the industry have expressed immense regret.
  • Supporting the doemi business can have a detrimental effect on families. Fathers and husbands who utilize doemi services may one day be lured into cheating or come to find that their own daughters are working in this industry.
  • The doemi business is harmful to Korean culture and society as it is multiplying. People view Korean girls to be sexual objects, materialistic, and loose.
  • Doemi girls are victimzed, even though they have usually made the choice to be in this industry and many are unaware of what is happening to them as human beings. Their souls and bodies are being disrespected and abused. They become spiritually and mentally trapped.
  • The Korean doemi business is affecting other ethnic groups, as they advertise on well-known sites. Many Caucasian, Japanese, Chinese, Malaysian, Filipino, Vietnamese, and Latino girls can be found working as doemi girls as well, not to mention that many non-Korean men have started going to Koreatown to gain access to the doemi services.
  • Customers who call doemi services view these services as fun entertainment. This is not the case. Because of the high influx of men paying for girls to sit with them, the doemi services are growing rapidly. The Korean community must come together to stop the demand.
  • Many people say that it is impossible and a waste of time to try and stop this business from proliferating. These same people say that it is pointless for churches and pastors to fight the sex industry, that sex work is the oldest profession in the world–and that it is never going to end. These people need to study history and read some books on William Wilberforce.
  • Men and women, customers, owners, and workers who are involved in the doemi business–are usually victimized by greed and abuse–especially mentally and emotionally.
  • The doemi business is a part of the sex industry, even though their work does not always lead to sex. They are selling the idea of sex and being sexual for money with strangers.
    imagesCAY9H5H2
    Photo Credit: huffingtonpost.com

If you are a worker wanting to get out of this industry, a person contemplating on working in a noraebang as a doemi, an ex-worker trying to avoid stigmatization and attacks or dealing with guilt and shame, a trafficker selling girls into the industry, a doemi service owner, a taxi driver driving the girls and johns to and fro, an ex-worker who wants to help others get out, or anyone who is associated with or a supporter of the industry, please contact us. There are many people who would like to help you, pray with you, and love you in the name of Christ.

Don’t get into the doemi business. More importantly–Don’t support the doemis business as a customer. Help spread awareness. Help protect these women from being victimized. Pray that the young girls, who are getting into the industry so easily and without concern, may be transformed through the Gospel and know that they are so valuable and beyond previous. Pray that the girls, who have been horribly abused and believe this is their only option, will be given justice and a fresh new future. May they hear God’s voice calling out to them. Lord, break our hearts as your heart breaks, so that we may fight for your freedom and justice to reign over our precious community. Give the Korean community better judgement and distinct, clear discernment between what is acceptable by you and what is not. Oh come and help us Lord!

Korean Sex Establishments–part 2–Asian / Korean Massage Parlors

Posted on Updated on

written by gkim

blog#2 massage signThis is just one of many massage parlor signs littered across the Korean communities in the world. So many corners with so many different signs that represent the rampantly growing sex industry… This one clearly reads “massage” in Korean however, I walk inside one of these places to ask for their pricing, and I’m turned away. Their answer is simply: “You’re in the wrong place.” No explanation, no apologies, no excuses.

If I were a male walking into this establishment, I would have been greeted by the hosts at the front desk. Payment would’ve been required there ranging anywhere from $50 -$200 depending on the city. Next, I would have gone downstairs into a locker room where I would store my belongings and get into a robe they provided for me. I would head over to a sauna full of men while I wait for my turn. A female madam would appear in the sauna full of naked men, and beckon me. Then, I would be escorted into my own room where a naked “masseuse” would be waiting. Once the door shuts behind me, this young girl would disrobe me and begin to bathe me in the shower that is inside the room. Midway through this, she would perform oral sex. Next, she would guide me to a massage table where I would lie face down as she situates herself onto my backside and does devious acts that most people would never think of performing. She’ll finally lead me to the bed where a condom is put on and sex would occur. In some places, the condom usage depends on what the client desires, and the workers must comply. There are many places that offer more than one woman per client as well. Who would I possibly run into at these joints? Mostly married men consisting of CEOs of huge corporations, corporate employees, bored singles, some tourists, and a number of deportees. Yes, this is very explicit. But we must tell be fully aware and spread the truth about what is happening. If not, more girls will be sold into the dangerous sex industry, and people will be oblivious to the reality of what is going on behind closed doors.

Are these girls enjoying what they do? Well, let’s get the perspective of ex-workers who have gotten out of the sex industry. Not a single one says they have enjoyed it. Also, the majority of these girls are forced, trafficked, and sold into this type of work and there are many who end up viewing it as their only choice in life. Many men are fooled by their smiles or stories, and they don’t see these women as victims. Many of these women are enslaved and will not expose their truths to total strangers. They have no voice, no one to turn to, and they trust very few people to reveal their stories to. These types of massage parlors follow Koreans into the States and all over the world. In America, San Francisco is the mecca for Asian/ Korean Massage Parlors, but Koreatown, Los Angeles and Koreatown, New York have multiple massage parlors where “happy” endings are serviced at an extra cost. A lot of these registered businesses have salient characteristics that are only recognized by observant Koreans who are privy to this underground sex industry. Others may simply see a sign for a massage parlor and bypass it without a second thought.

Working with government legislators to shut them down legally is futile when in some areas cops are constantly being paid off to stay hushed, law enforcement are oblivious, or they refuse to acknowledge the enormity of what is happening. There are just way too many supporters, way too many people who want to satisfy their curiosities, and way too many worker bees who need some type of release. There are even some prostitutes who fight against the anti-prostitution law. These women believe that because the sex is occurring between two consenting individuals in exchange for money, it is no one else’s business nor it is harming anyone. However, it is not their fault that they do not know they are harming themselves for the long haul and that society is being harmed as a result. They are so broken and lost without Christ that they believe this is their only option.

prostitutes
Photo Credit: ctvnews.ca/

It is up to the Church to spread the Gospel and inform everyone properly of what is light and what is dark. It is up to followers of Christ to serve the community by heeding God’s commands. Christians need to take leadership roles of cities and countries, and we need to rise up and set a good example. We must do God’s work here on Earth because that is our purpose–to serve Him.

If you are a worker wanting to get out of this industry, a person contemplating on working in a massage parlor, an ex-worker trying to avoid stigmatization and attacks or dealing with guilt and shame, a trafficker selling girls into the industry, a massage parlor owner, a taxi driver driving the girls and johns to and fro, or anyone who is associated or a supporter of the industry, please contact us. There are many people who would like to help you, pray with you, and love you in the name of Christ.