This thesis uses feminist international relations theory to examine the United States' reliance on foreign women to fulfill its international agenda in Korea and Japan. It identifies the ways in which American government and military leaders depended on Japanese and Korean women's sexual labor to sustain multi-year military occupations and advance their strategic political and economic objectives in the region.
The Combating Trafficking in Persons (CTIP) Program Office establishes policy and assigns responsibilities for CTIP. The Department of Defense acknowledges that TIP is 'a worldwide problem posing a transnational threat involving violations of basic human rights.' The three most common forms of human trafficking is labor, sex, and child soldiering. The government agency states it has zero tolerance for "Trafficking in Persons."
The Japanese and South Korean governments reached a "Comfort Women" settlement. Included in the settlement is a $8.3 million compensation fund for the 46 living women, a formal apology from the Japanese government, and "projects for recovering the honor and dignity and healing the psychological wounds of all former comfort women." Their stories share a common narrative: sexual violence against women by those in power, and subsequently, societies' unwillingness to acknowledge violations.
During World War II, estimates of hundreds of thousands of "comfort women" from the Philippines, North & South Korea, China, Taiwan, Netherlands, Burma, Malaysia, East Timor, Indonesia and south of Micronesia were forced into military sexual slavery and sexually exploited in hundreds of rape stations to serve Japanese forces. It wasn't until after democratization in 1987 that "The Comfort Women Issue" was discussed openly in the Republic of Korea (South Korea).
The Department of Defense (DOD) Inspector General report, dated June 16, 2014, identified three areas of progress and five areas not in compliance with the DOD "Combating Trafficking in Persons (CTIP)" program.
This article examines how South Korean, Japanese, and Filipino governments actively support and maintain the prostitution industry servicing U.S. troops as a means to achieve "national security" even though prostitution is illegal in their countries and they did not necessarily choose to participate in the sex trade.
Polaris Project offers human trafficking training to Department of Defense military and civilian employees as well as contractors in an effort to identify, deter, and prevent the trafficking of human beings exploited for sex, labor, organ removal, and other criminal activities.
This timeline posted on Preceden depicts national government support of commercial sexual exploitation the demand military forces created by military forces. The evolution of "Camptown Prostitution" around U.S. military bases in South Korea from 1945 to 2013 is highlighted.
Katherine H.S. Moon's article contests the common assumptions in the West that prostitution is "part of Asian culture." She notes that 'Where there are soldiers, there are women who exist for them. Practically cliché, history is filled with examples of women as war booty and “camp followers,” their bodies being used for service labor of various kinds, including sex.'
President and Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama called military leaders to the White House in May 2013 directing them to get to the root of military sexual violence. This article explores historical events domestic and international events in peace and wartime.
The link between prostitution and trafficking is officially recognized by the US government. In 2005, the Manual for Courts-Martial was amended to specify “patronizing a prostitute” as a violation of Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
In South Korea, U.S. military bases are an international hub for the trafficking of women for prostitution and related forms of sexual exploitation. This paper's authors examine three types of trafficking that are connected to US military bases.
This article reviews the impact of security treaties and the Status of Forces Agreements (SOFAs) providing for U.S. bases, military operations, and port visits in East Asian countries. Their premise is that these agreements with host nations detrimentally compromise the security of local people. Prostitution, abuse of local women, and the mixed-race children fathered by U.S. military men are some of the outcomes that grassroots host nation organizations are trying to end by reforming SOFAs.
Katherine H.S. Moon, in her excerpt "U.S. Military Prostitution in Asia" from "Sex Among Allies: Military Prostitution in U.S./Korea Relations," explores how U.S. military camptowns create economic dependence between residents and the military. She compares this relationship with others like it in Okinawa and in the United States.
"The Women Outside," a 1995 documentary, examines Korean women and the conditions they lived in until the end of the 1990s. The U.S. maintains a significant presence in South Korea since the end of the Korean War in 1953. The producers state that as of 1995, over 27,000 women "service" the 37,000 American servicemen stationed in this militarized region. Their study guide promotes discussion about their documentary and the issues it raises.
In 2005, President George W. Bush signed an executive order adding patronizing prostitutes to the U.S. military's Manual for Courts-Martial. In light of recent Secret Service and military transgressions in Columbia, there remains questions on the strength of the law and its enforcement.
This written policy condemning prostitution and human trafficking applies to all military personnel assigned or attached permanently, on temporary duty, or on rotational duty in Korea, and to USFK units or organizations supported by USFK units.