It housed more than shops and sex workers. The area is now a construction site. It was dimly lit.
Pedestrians were scarce — passing through to get to their destination rather than venturing out in the area. All shops, bar one, have shut down. The padlocks on the doors, shattered windows, rubbish bags dumped on the streets and the eerie silence adds to the change — the area went from buzzing and bustling to desolate and barren.
Now, there are hardly any. The conversation was cut short as she spotted a middle-aged man looking into the shop from across the pavement. Now, as you can see, we just sit and wait. The eviction of sex workers here started in In front of the locked shops, there are broken mirrors and stools, all discarded now.
‘lives under threat’
It will not be too long until the last remaining shop in the area is shut down amid development plans. Our workplaces are disappearing all the time. This is all taking place with no dialogue with sex workers, nor any measures to protect us.
Jang argues that the disappearance of red-light districts is pushing prostitution underground — and online — and making things more dangerous for sex workers. The eviction is all taking place with no dialogue with sex workers, nor any measures to protect us. He did, however, point to a vigilante programme that was launched in and offers incentives to those reporting any illegal occurrences.
That is why the SMG started a civic watchdog programme. Anyone living in Seoul aged 19 and above can the programme. Miari Texas is another well-known red-light districts in northern Seoul. It is a maze of narrow alleyways off a main road.
An online memoir of a man who worked there provides a unique, almost unheard, of what goes on in the area. His job was to supply brothels with condoms, tissues and other items. Every day, he would spend 12 hours with the sex workers.
Main and meta
Majority of those, he said, were women who had dropped out of school or ran away from home. They were all warm-hearted, full of affection but starving for real affection at the same time.
HanTeo and its members echo those comments and feelings. Our lives are under threat and soon we will have nowhere left to go. In addition to Miari Texas, a brothel just east of Yongsan Station was wiped out in for a redevelopment project; Cheonho-dong in eastern Seoul and Youngdeungpo in southwestern Seoul are also fading fast, according to a report in the Korea Times.
The Korean government is failing the sex workers.
By Steven Borowiec and Faras Ghani. But on a cold evening, when the wind-chill dropped to around C, the contrast was stark.
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