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The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

In the early years of the 21st Century, 2000 to 2025                

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – DPRK  (North Korea)

North Korea, one of the world's most centrally directed and least open economies, faces chronic economic problems. Industrial capital stock is nearly beyond repair as a result of years of underinvestment and shortages of spare parts. Large-scale military spending draws off resources needed for investment and civilian consumption.

Large-scale international food aid deliveries have allowed the people of North Korea to escape widespread starvation since famine threatened in 1995, but the population continues to suffer from prolonged malnutrition and poor living conditions.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: NorthKorea

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in North Korea.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated, misleading or even false.   No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of child prostitution are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got started, how they survive, and how some succeed in leaving.  Perhaps your paper could focus on runaways and the abuse that led to their leaving.  Other factors of interest might be poverty, rejection, drug dependence, coercion, violence, addiction, hunger, neglect, etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to write about the manipulative and dangerous adults who control this activity.  There is a lot to the subject of Child Prostitution.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

*** ARCHIVES ***

Human Rights Reports » 2019 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 10, 2020

[accessed 6 September 2020]

SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN - Because many girls and young women attempt to flee repressive conditions, poverty, and food shortages for their own survival or the betterment of their family, 2019 international media reports and the 2014 UNCOI report noted they were often subjected to sexual exploitation by traffickers. Traffickers promised these young girls jobs in other parts of the country or in China but then sold them into forced marriages or domestic servitude or made them work in prostitution after being smuggled out of the country. In their November publication of Inescapable Violence: Child Abuse within North Korea, the Seoul-based NGO People for Successful Corean Unification documented endemic child abuse, including child sexual abuse, in North Korean schools, homes, camps, orphanages, and detention centers.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 4 June 2004

[accessed 14 December 2010]

[62] The Committee notes the lack of information in the State party report on human trafficking, in particular, involving children.

[63] In the light of article 34 and other related articles of the Convention, the Committee recommends that the State party:  (a) Undertake a comprehensive study to assess the nature and the extent of human trafficking, in particular involving children;  (b) Ensure the protection from sexual exploitation and trafficking in relevant legislation to all boys and girls below the age of 18 years; and  (c) Pursue efforts to combat sexual exploitation in accordance with the 1996 Declaration and Agenda for Action and the 2001 Global Commitment adopted at the World Congresses against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children.

[66] The Committee recommends that the State party ratify the Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and on the involvement of children in armed conflict.

Five Years After Stockholm [PDF]

ECPAT: Fifth Report on implementation of the Agenda for Action

ECPAT International, November 2001

[accessed 13 September 2011]

[B] COUNTRY UPDATES – DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF KOREA – The US Department of State’s Human Rights Report 2000 states that there are reports of young girls being trafficked to China. A network of smugglers reportedly facilitates this trafficking. Many victims are unable to speak Chinese, are held virtual prisoners, and end up working as prostitutes.

Crisis In Korea; Pyongyang's 'Paradise

Martin Sieff, United Press International UPI, Washington DC, 6 January 2003

[accessed 28 June 2011]

At least one-fourth of a million North Koreans have managed to flee to the northeast across the Yalu River, Korea's ancient frontier with neighboring China. And they now live in conditions of extreme privation, uncertainty, destitution and no security in the northeastern Chinese province of Manchuria.  Child labor and child prostitution are extremely common for these North Korean refugees, the intelligence sources said.




Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 10 February 2020]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS - There were no known laws specifically addressing the problem of trafficking in persons, and trafficking of women and young girls into and within China continued to be widely reported. Some women and girls were sold by their families or by kidnappers as wives or concubines to men in China; others fled of their own volition to escape starvation and deprivation. A network of smugglers reportedly facilitated this trafficking. According to defector reports, many victims of trafficking, unable to speak Chinese, were held as virtual prisoners, and some were forced to work as prostitutes.

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