The first draft for the revision of the Anti-Prostitution Act has been drawn up.
The Korea Institute for Women's Development held a public hearing on July 5 and changed the name of the proposed law to 'Laws on the Prevention of Prostitution and Its Mediation.' A newly introduced clause makes it possible for mediators - those found guilty of exploiting prostitutes - to be punished more severely. In these cases, the court can pass a heavy sentence as well as impose a heavy fine or confiscate property.
Like the existing Anti-Prostitution Act, the revision draft focuses on prohibition and maintains the clause allowing 'punishment of both parties.' But the difference is that the revision also focuses on the guidance and rehabilitation of women involved in prostitution, and includes stipulations regarding facilities and counseling centers for such women.
On one hand, those who advocate licensed prostitution opposed the prohibitive clauses, claiming that "allowing prostitution in a limited area under state control is a realistic way of protecting the human rights of prostitutes and preventing the spread of prostitution."
On the other hand, on-site groups supporting and caring for prostitutes say that "rehabilitation is just another way of branding these women as criminals." They claim, "Punishment of both parties should be abolished, and a more natural program should be launched to help women break away from prostitution and return to society."