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Monday, December 27, 2010

A massage parlor eviction incident in Irvine, CA raises a question of sex trafficking..

Youngbee Dale
Human Rights Examiner.
CBS news reported yesterday an incident in Irvine California that a massage parlor "gets booted out from a business center after neighboring business owners informed the authority of their suspicion. The business owners noticed a constant flow of male customers to the massage parlor during the day. The CBS report states that "though there was no sign on the neighboring business, the business went by Young's Chiropractic according to its website." After researching more about the massage parlor, the couple contacted the local police and newspaper. Then, the tenancy termination notices were left in the business. But, CBS news was not able to contact the owner of the message parlor, Soon Kim. Also, the report states that the employees were living there as well. Though this incident was under the big spotlight of the local news media, nobody seems to ask an important question of whether human trafficking or smuggling by debt bondage might have been occurred in this incident.
High Percentage of South Korean trafficking victims in the U.S.
According to a Cal State research report, the Attorney General's office in 2006 stated that South Korean women made up 23.5% of human trafficking victims in the U.S., the highest percentagef followed by Thailand (11.7%) and Mexico (9.6%). Moreover, the report says that South Korean women who are smuggled or trafficked to the U.S. incur a large debt. Because they have to pay for broker fees or travel costs, it is likely they live under debt bondage even if they came to the U.S. voluntarily. What is worse is that the same research reports that their debt often increases upon arrival to the U.S. because of the additional costs for food, rent, utilities, and even condoms. The research further states that the biggest exploiters of these women are other Koreans living in the U.S. They are the traffickers, the smugglers, the brokers, the owners of prostitution-based enterprises such as night clubs, karaoke, massage parlors, etc. Lastly, the research also cites an example of a website listing the massage parlors in the U.S. as an example to demonstrate an access to commercial sex with Korean women.
Possible sex trafficking in this eviction incident
The Irvine police told the CBS news that once a business like Young's Chiropractic is closed down, it somehow opens a new business in somewhere else. But, nowhere in the report states that whether the police have investigated or even made an attempt to raise a question of whether a possible sex trafficking of South Korean women were involved in this incident. OC Register also reported the same incident as CBS did regarding this incident. Under the OC Register article, one of the readers left a comment citing different comments made by the customers who visited Young's Chiropractic. All of the website addresses are some kind of adult service websites, rather than any of the customers' review websites like a Google yellow page. Some johns left a comment explicitly noting a Korean woman soliciting sexual services, and he really enjoyed it. Yet, no one seems to raise a question of whether these women might have been living under debt bondage of sex trafficking. Nor has anyone raise a question of whether the johns are perpetrators of these women that should not be tolerated.