Gender and Human Trafficking in South and North Korea
As South and North Korea have developed into different paths in many aspects, their human trafficking situations also demonstrate different societal problems. South Korea is mainly a country of destination and transit that receives and transforms trafficking victims, and, to some extent, it is a source country that sends victims abroad. This complexity in human trafficking is closely related to the vulnerability of female migrants both into and out of the country, and mirrors demographic changes in South Korea and challenging dynamics in marriage and labor markets for women. On the other hand, North Korea is predominantly a source country whose people are trafficked abroad (mainly to China and South Korea) particularly during their journey fleeing out of the country due to political oppression and poverty. This problem can be described as gender-based violence under a humanitarian crisis. In this lecture, these problems will be discussed under gender perspectives in terms of vulnerable female migration and crime against women. The gender approach is particularly relevant in the human trafficking context because the absolute majority of victims are women and girls (in both Korea and worldwide).
Seo-Young Cho is assistant professor of economics at Philipps-University of Marburg in Germany. Her research focuses on economic analysis of human trafficking, female migration, social capital, cyber activities, gender differences in education and behaviors, and genderbased violence. Her regional interests center on East Asia, particularly North and South Korea. She also serves on the advisory board of the Journal of Human Trafficking and as a Directorate Member of the Korean-German Academy of Economics and Management. Seo-Young Cho received her doctorate in economics from Georg-August University of Goettingen in Germany and a master’s degree in public affairs from Columbia University in New York.