IOM Seoul Hosts Counter Trafficking Policy Seminar

Republic of Korea  - The lack of effective indicators to identify trafficking victims in the Republic of Korea (ROK) is resulting in a situation where victims are sometimes treated as criminals, according to IOM.

To address the issue, IOM Seoul will hold a policy seminar on August 31 to encourage the development of identification indicators for victims of trafficking and to ensure relevant legislation in the ROK. 

The seminar is co-hosted by the first naturalized Korean lawmaker, Jasmin Lee, and will take place at the National Assembly, bringing together field workers, law experts and government officials who will discuss the most pressing issues in preventing human trafficking, protecting victims and prosecuting perpetrators. 

The ROK signed the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Trafficking Protocol) in 2000.

The agreement was ratified by the National Assembly in 2015, yet to date there is no relevant legislation to make it effective.

“Even though the ROK has been rated as Tier 1 in the US Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report for the last 13 years, many victims are not receiving proper protection, due to the lack of identification indicators and relevant legislation,” said Miah Park, Head of Office at IOM Seoul.

“Some are even treated as criminals during the investigation process because there are no proper indicators to identify the victims,” she added.

The 2015 TIP report, issued last month, says the ROK fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.

“It is time that we aim higher and find the best solutions to prevent human trafficking, protect the victims and persecute the perpetrators in order to make real changes,” continued Park.

IOM Seoul has been actively involved in counter trafficking activities in recent years, which has culminated in a US J/TIP-funded counter trafficking research project on labour exploitation of migrants from East and South East Asia working in fishing boats.

It is also keenly engaged in the ROK’s alternative Entertainment Visa (E-6) policy dialogue with civil society and public interest lawyers.

For further information please contact Eunjin Jeong at IOM Seoul, Tel: +82 70 4820 2324, Email: