Human Rights Watch Warns of Rampant Digital Sex Crimes in Korea

  • By Kim Su-kyung

    June 17, 2021 10:09

    Global NGO Human Rights Watch has warned that digital sex crimes using hidden cameras are rampant in Korea.

    In its report released Wednesday, Human Rights Watch said that many Korean women's lives are ruined by such offenses.

    "In 2008, less than four percent of sex crimes prosecutions in [Korea] involved illegal filming," the report notes, but "by 2017 the number of these cases had increased eleven-fold, from 585 cases to 6,615, and they constituted 20 percent of sex crimes prosecutions."

    Eighty percent of the victims in spycam cases are women and most of the perpetrators are men, it added.

    The report elaborates on various cases, including one where an employer bought a female employee a spycam clock as a present. She put it in her bedroom and it streamed footage of the inside of her bedroom to her boss' smartphone 24 hours a day. It also focuses on the significant difficulty victims face in pursuing criminal cases and civil remedies.

    The report claims there are few countries where there are so many spycams used to covertly record footage in places like public toilets and changing rooms, and perpetrators often "generate revenue by selling access to the photos."

    One reason for the frequency of such crimes is that "Korea's rapid economic and technological development has not been accompanied by similarly rapid advancement in gender equality," the report concludes. 

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