Human and Sex Trafficking Statistics

Indicator Description

  • A. Definition

    Status of crimes that exploit or abuse humans for sexual or financial purposes

  • B. How to measure

    Crime figures corresponding to human trafficking among crime statistics collected by the National Police Agency
    * Trafficking statistics provided by the ‘Crime Statistics of the Police Agency’ may be different from actual trafficking figures since trafficking in the ‘Crime Statistics of the Police Agency’ is classified as both abduction and kidnapping.
    * “Trafficking in persons” shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power, for the purpose of exploitation. (Palermo Protocol)
    *Prostitution: the practice or occupation of engaging in sexual activity with someone for money
    *Kidnapping is the taking away of a person by force or threat. Abduction is the criminal taking away a person by persuasion or fraud.

  • C. Features and Sources

    Category Sub-Category Sub-Subcategory Type of Indicator Reference Data Sources First year data available Frequency
    Right to Freedom Right to Physical and Moral Integrity Prohibition of Human Trafficking Objective/Result The National Police Agency Human Rights Statistics 2012 1 year
    Ministry of Gender Equality and Family Reports on the operation of victim support facilities and counseling centers 2013 1year
  • D. Interpretation

    According to articles 1 and 3 of the ‘Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others’, human trafficking and prostitution are prohibited. Also, article 6 of the ‘Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women’ emphasizes the need to suppress all forms of trafficking and exploitation of prostitution of women. Human trafficking refers to the criminal act of buying and selling human beings, which is considered to be a fundamental violation of human rights. Human trafficking and prostitution is not only a matter of violence or assault, but also a temptation through cajolery. Henceforth, prostitution against children or adolescents who lack self-discretion is subjected to a more severe punishment. When we look at the number of abduction and kidnapping crimes that have occurred since 2011, the number reached a peak of 266 in 2011, but has since declined to around 200 cases. After 2015, the arrest rate was maintained at 90%, and it seems that crime is controlled well. The US State Department publishes a yearly report on the actual condition of human trafficking in countries around the world. Korea is in good condition as first grade, but has been pointed out for labor exploitation, trafficking, and child sex tourism (2018 report). As the economy has improved, the government is tightening the law and cracking down on human and sex traffickers. However, there has also been a lot of criticism that it is necessary to supplement this matter because there are many cases where legal standards are ambiguous.

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