Youth and women groups are grappling with the challenge of finding fundamental solutions to the prostitution of under-aged people.
On 5 June, the Juvenile Delinquency Department of the Seoul Prosecutor's Office (Chief Shin Man Seong) submitted a recommendation to the Ministry of Justice calling for the revision of relevant laws so that the Anti-Prostitution Act and criminal punishment can be applied to under-aged prostitutes.
Chairperson Kim Seong Ee of the Youth Protection Committee immediately vocalized the Committee's objections to the recommendation, asking, "What kind of solution brands youths as prostitutes?" And even the prosecutors are reported to have "conflicting opinions," with some of them saying that "youths who sell sexual favors should be regarded as victims of our society's distorted sex culture."
On 8 June, 10 youth and women groups including WMCA Seoul and Women's Hotline issued a statement, claiming that "instead of plant a sense of guilt in youths, legal punishment will only give rise to more adults who misuse the law to blackmail and abuse youths." The statement also points out that "legalizing punishment of youths leaves the possibility of human rights abuse and neglect wide open."
The Sex Culture Committee under the Youth Protection Committee submitted a counter-report opposing criminal punishment of youths involved in prostitution. It also has made plans to join hands with the local community, schools and parents in resolving the problem of youth prostitution through ¡a education on prevention of prostitution ¡a therapy programs for victims ¡a rehabilitation programs for repeat offenders ¡a training of teachers to counsel youths involved in prostitution.