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‘1 in 10 foreign female workers sexually harassed’

One in 10 of female migrant workers were sexually harassed while working in South Korea last year, according to Rep. Lee Jasmine’s office.

According to Lee, who is the first non-ethnic Korean and naturalized citizen to become a lawmaker in South Korea, 10.7 percent of the female workers from foreign countries experienced sexual harassment in South Korea last year.

Among them, 35.5 percent were raped, 35.5 percent had to endure unwanted physical contact, and 29 percent were inappropriately touched while being forced to drink alcohol. Meanwhile, 12.9 percent said they were asked to provide sex for money.

Up to 88.9 percent of the victims said employers or those in managerial positions abused them, and 16.7 percent said they were harassed by fellow migrant workers from the same country of origin.

Lee pointed out that the current law does not require local shelters or service centers for sexual harassment victims to have a special program designed specifically for migrant workers, who are often faced with unique linguistic and legal challenges.

“The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family must come up with measures to protect and support female migrant workers who have been sexually harassed at workplaces here,” she said.

By Claire Lee (