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Interview with South China Morning Post: March 24, 2018

How karaoke and Korea’s love of plastic surgery became front lines in America’s war on sex slavery

Published: 8:03am, 24 Mar, 2018

“Plastic surgery, these days, is almost mandatory in South Korea,” says Youngbee Dale, an anti-human trafficking expert based in Washington.

“Women in particular face lots of barriers to getting a job, so many feel compelled to undergo surgery. College girls often don’t have any money, even if they are middle class, so traffickers target them.”

Limited access to legitimate financial services leaves many women no option but to seek informal loans, making them vulnerable to traffickers seeking a profit.

“Traffickers entice them by saying they can pay off the surgeries while working part-time, first serving drinks. Then they say ‘you still have this amount of debt’ – there’s interest everyday – if you do this [prostitution] you will be able to pay it much faster. At that point is impossible to get out,” Dale says.

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