[BBC] Did Korea encourage sex work at US bases?

November 28, 2014
prostitution

For as long as armies have gathered in garrisons, ramshackle “camp-towns” have grown up around them. In South Korea, they reach right up to the walls of US bases. (Korea Times file)

More than 120 former prostitutes who worked near a U.S. military base in South Korea are going to court to seek compensation from the Korean government. They say the authorities actively facilitated their work – and that the system has left them in poverty now that they are old.

For as long as armies have gathered in garrisons, ramshackle “camp-towns” have grown up around them. In South Korea, they reach right up to the walls of US bases – by night, they throb with music and neon, by day, they seem to recover from the night before.

They are now the scene of an intriguing legal dispute. More than 120 former prostitutes, who are ageing and poor, are suing not the American authorities but their own government, demanding compensation of $10,000 (£6,360) each. Their argument is that the South Korean government facilitated their work in order to keep American forces happy.

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