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Sex workers want anti-sex trade laws scrapped

Workers in the sex industry called Wednesday for the scrapping or revision of anti-sex trafficking laws, saying it restricts their right of sexual autonomy.

South Korea has banned the sex trade since two pertinent laws went into effect in 2004, dealing a serious blow to the industry.

“Part of the anti-sex trafficking laws about those who sell sex is against the Constitution,” a sex worker said in a news conference in Seoul hosted by their trade association, Hanteo.

The clause limits sex workers’ rights to sexual autonomy and their freedom to enjoy a free sex life as adults, they argued.

Earlier, another sex worker surnamed Kim submitted a petition to a local court in Seoul to ask for a judgment on whether the laws are constitutionally acceptable.

The 40-year-old woman had been fined 500,000 won ($446) for selling sex in violation of the laws.

“If the request is accepted by the judge, she will file a complaint with the Constitutional Court through the local court.

Otherwise, we will directly file a complaint with the Constitutional Court together with Kim,” Choe Hyun-joon, chief of Hanteo, said during the conference. (Yonhap News)