WHRCK held its 2015 International Symposium on the Prevention of Sex Trafficking under the theme of International Efforts to Eradicate Sex Trafficking on September 23 at Seongdong Youth Center in Seoul.
In the first session, Choe Inho, Senior Prosecutorial and Judicial Adviser at the UNODC Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, discussed the status of trafficking in women and sexual exploitation of children in Southeast Asia, including the activities of UNODC in that regard and cross-border criminal justice cooperation. Sarah Benson, an Irish expert from the European Women’s Lobby Observatory on Violence against Women, reviewed the status of prostitution and sex trafficking in Europe and briefed attendees on cooperative projects among NGOs designed to effectively combat prostitution and sex trafficking.
In the second session, Michael Shively, a researcher from Demand Forum, discussed various prevention programs that the US government has implemented in over 1,000 communities nationwide in an effort to address sex trafficking, and suggested implications from their outcomes. Song Gyung Suk, President of Jeonbuk Human Rights Support Center for Women made a presentation on community responses intended to close down red light districts, integrated support for prostituted women, and support activities for prostituted teenagers based on the center’s experience of cooperation with related community organizations.
Both the panelists and audience agreed that the legalization of prostitution would only serve to further protect the prostitution industry, and that greater international cooperation is needed to eradicate sex trafficking.