With jobs scarce in South Korea, more women were turning to prostitution, said University of Auckland Korean studies senior lecturer Changzoo Song.
Immigration New Zealand confirmed that in the 12 months to November, 13 South Korean people were refused entry at the border after being assessed as being likely to be travelling here to work in the sex industry. This was up from 10 in the same period last year.
” … prostitution is considered extremely shameful in Korea,” said Dr Song. “For Korean women who become prostitutes, they preferred to travel overseas to work so as not to lose face or bring shame to their families.”
Under the Prostitution Reform Act 2003, only New Zealand citizens and residents can work in the sex industry. Of the 42 foreign nationals on temporary visas found working as sex workers in the last financial year, 18 were from China, 14 from Hong Kong, three from Taiwan and one was from South Korea.
But in the past three months, at least six South Korean nationals were found to be working unlawfully in the local sex industry.
“Australia used to be a popular choice, but recent campaigns and crackdown may have put them off going there,” added Dr Song.