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Prostitution finds new forms to sidestep law Experts argue that banning sex work has had little to no effect Oct 02, By Kang Jung-hyun Business in Miari Texas, the once-active red-light district in Seongbuk, northern Seoul, has noticeably dwindled in the past 10 years since the implementation of the Special Law on Prostitution, which bans the selling and buying of sex.
Similarly, in another red-light area in Paju, Gyeonggi, the number of sex parlors has decreased to 20 from about a decade ago, and a partition has been installed at the entrance of an alley that shelters nondescript prostitution businesses. Traditional brothels Since the enactment of the special law, which also aims to protect the victims of human trafficking, the number of red-light districts - defined as a place where 10 or more brothels are concentrated - has decreased nationwide, from 69 in to 44 last year.
But while it appears the law has been effective on the surface, the prostitution industry has actually grown in areas where surveillance is relatively weak, including parts of Daegu, Gwangju, Busan and Jeju.
One area near Suwon Station in Gyeonggi has experienced an increase there in the number of brothels and prostitutes, who have flocked to the region to avoid strict surveillance in Seoul and northern Gyeonggi. The number of sex parlors and sex workers there doubled this year compared to , according to the Suwon city government. Forty-nine brothels and prostitutes were recorded in the area in , while 99 brothels and prostitutes were found this year.
Brothels exclusively for foreigners also exist here, hidden in a deep alleyway. In some places, pimps posing as ordinary citizens scour the streets to find potential customers. The madams usually secure a motel room for clients and then summon the sex workers to that locale. Some experts have described it as having had a balloon effect - the problem never disappears, it only moves from place to place.