Conflict & Justice

Prostitution ban threatens South Korea's blind

Unpublished

This neighborhood used to be one of the capitol's infamous red light districts. Many brothels here now appear to be out of business.

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Earlier this week, the Seoul Police announced a campaign against prostitution and have told brothels to close up and start new lives. But no one here believes the police can close down prostitution in Seoul.

While obvious places have closed, the business will just change locales.

In a nearby neighborhood, prostitution is thriving in karaoke bars, love motels, and massage parlors.

Not only is it illegal for prostitutes in Korea to practice massage, but actually for anyone with normal vision.

For nearly 100 years, the legally blind have had the exclusive right to the massage business, but the nation's top court is now deciding whether this law is discriminatory against sighted people.

The blind have held daily protests around the capitol.

They say massage is the only way for them to earn a living because of the cultural prejudice against the blind.

She fears competition from prostitutes.

The competition of court will rule on the decision as early as next week.

Analysts believe the court will protect the majority over the minority.

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