It's a monster in size and content, so commentary on it will come later in a separate post (as will a line by line translation, in case the original disappears). Many thanks to Ben Wagner and Coola for the translation.
Tracking [down] blacklisted foreign teachers suspected of having AIDS
[Exclusive Coverage] 80% of those frequenting AIDS testing center for foreigners are native speaker teachers
▲It is reported that 80 percent of foreigners who frequent HIV/AIDS counseling center for foreigners are foreign English teachers.
The harm beyond imagination caused by illegal, low quality foreign English teachers has been exposed thanks to five articles published in succession by this newspaper. There is worry that because of these teachers, not only will the academic performance of students suffer but, due to the excessively generous treatment of these teachers, the nation’s economy will also suffer losses.
More importantly, the suffering of the women who have become victims of sexual assault and rape by foreign teachers cannot possibly be described in full, according to victims’ testimonies, and it is said that some women have even committed suicide. Even now, the number of Korean women who exist somewhere as the sexual playthings or sex slaves of foreign teachers is estimated to reach into the thousands or tens of thousands.
A common point made by those who have started a movement to expel illegal, low-quality foreign teachers is that this situation is much too serious to just be regarded as “their own private matter.”
Those who have started this movement are especially concerned about the high possibility of the spreading of AIDS and other STDs through promiscuous sexual relations between foreign teachers and Korean women.
As a result of our coverage on this issue, we have found that an AIDS counseling and testing center in Seoul (hereafter “Center”) is being frequented by many foreigners looking to get tested for AIDS and other STDs.
Fear of AIDS from a “one-night stand” with a foreign teacher?
The Center explained that a good many of the foreigners seeking out the center were white-collar workers. At an AIDS counseling online bulletin board, there are often postings by Korean women worrying that they might get AIDS after having had sex with a foreigner, further exposing the seriousness of this issue.
As a result of this situation, we can derive the following conclusions: ▲Many of the foreigners sojourning in Korea make a living as English teachers; ▲Among those English teachers, it has been proven that many of them are enjoying sexual relations with not just one Korean women but with many; ▲And considering the fact that Korean women have personally reported their cases of victimization, we can see that these women are being defenselessly exposed to AIDS.
According to an official at the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, foreigners sojourning in Korea for 91 days or more with the goal of earning income must submit a certificate that proves that they are HIV-negative.
However, the category including those who “earning income” only applies to foreigners working in the entertainment field, such as entertainers and athletes, etc., and does not apply to English teachers.
Among foreigners living in Korea, an AIDS test is not mandatory for English teachers.
Only those who wish to get a free test receive one. If an HIV infection is confirmed, the Immigration Service’s recommendation is that they leave the country, according to the provisions of the authorities.
First of all, the fact that AIDS tests are recommended and not enforced is something that is difficult to understand. An official at the AIDS counseling center explained that this policy was put in place to protect the human rights of foreigners.
The Center currently promotes, through various English media outlets, including The Korea Times, that it is offering free AIDS testing for foreigners. After an applicant goes through counseling and books an appointment, he or she goes to the Yongsan-gu Health Center within 3-4 days to get an AIDS test. Of course, it is guaranteed that their anonymity will be protected.
“Mandatory tests violate human rights” vs. “The need to block citizens’ exposure to danger at its root”
The counseling bulletin board shows complaints by many Korean women regarding anxieties about AIDS after having sex with a [foreign] teacher
An official at the Center revealed that according to the results of surveys filled out by foreigners who requested tests, the majority of reasons for wanting an AIDS test consisted of the following: sex with others (one-night stand); a new partner; regular check-ups by homosexuals; pregnancy or drugs.
The official explained, “We must consider the fact that, compared with Koreans, foreigners do not possess such guarded views toward AIDS tests, and their [general] perceptions are more open than those of Koreans, so many ordinary people tend to seek out these tests.”
The official continued explaining that, “We carry out 2-3 tests per day on average, and the probability is that an HIV-positive result would come back an average once or twice a year,” adding that, “Of the patients who test positive, about half are gay.”
According to the Center official, and contrary to the reporter’s expectations, of the foreigners who receive [AIDS] tests, most are not (unskilled) foreign manual labor workers who may have unstable sexual and economic lives but are white-collar workers from English-speaking countries.
The Center explains that this is the reason why the Center promotes its [free AIDS] testing through media outlets that are frequently accessed by [foreign] white-collar workers.
In particular, when we look at the occupational distribution of those requesting tests, 80 percent are English teachers, 10 percent are other white-collar workers, and the remaining 10 percent consists of students and other Asian foreigners from countries such as India, Vietnam and China.
The Center official said, “Since those working as English teachers are statistically numerous among foreign residents in Korea, it is completely natural that English teachers account for 80 percent of those requesting tests.”
The Center also showed how much effort it puts into protecting the human rights of foreigners who have contracted AIDS. The Center official explains, “In the past, if a foreigner tested positive for AIDS, that person did not even have time to collect his or her belongings before being forced to immediately leave the country. However, things are a little bit different now.”
Another official at the Center said, “AIDS is not an easily transmitted disease, and these days, if the disease is discovered early and is treated continuously, a patient can even fulfill their full life expectancy.” The official also added, “And if a person receives a test result that is HIV-positive, that person would actually want to go back to their own country and receive treatment.”
However, some people are expressing that they cannot understand the government’s lenient approach toward foreigners, as Korea too is not in a safe situation when it comes to AIDS.
Above all, they claim that despite the fact that promiscuous sexual relations between foreign teachers and Korean women have been going on for many years now, and serious problems are arising in our society as a result, to exclude foreign teachers from submitting HIV-negative confirmation reports is nothing but unexcused negligence toward the spread of AIDS and other STDs.
Currently, the total reported number of HIV patients in Korea is said to be approximately 4,000. There was once a time when AIDS was regarded as an irrelevant issue to Korea. However, now with a more open sexual culture, and with more Koreans traveling to and from overseas, including Korean overseas tourists, the number of AIDS patients is on the rise.
In this regard, a former English hagwon teacher Mr. H expressed his anger over the issue saying, “When many foreign teachers are in Korea and are having promiscuous sex with Korean women and creating problems in society, to just leave this matter to voluntary self-regulation under the pretense that AIDS does not spread easily would be the same thing as letting a snake loose onto a patch of grass and then lying down on that same grass.”
He added, “Perverted, low-quality foreign teachers regard Korean women as mere sexual playthings, and such foreign teachers usually engage in promiscuous sexual activities with numerous women. They even approach married women to fulfill their own sexual needs.” He expressed concern over the government’s application of laws and systems that ignore the reality of things, which could end up becoming one of the major causes behind the spread of AIDS in Korea.
The reason why 'Inside Story'
And while researching on another Internet cafe website, this reporter was also able to find a comment put up by a homosexual Korean man who was worried about AIDS after having sex with foreign teachers. In fact, it was reported that last July, one native speaker teacher in Daegu was found to have contracted AIDS.
One government official that met with this reporter not long ago discussed another issue regarding the enactment of the Special Act on Prostitution, and how it brought on a new serious problem in the form of increased overseas sex trade. He cautiously pointed out that “Korea is receiving much international criticism due to the extraordinary number of women embarking on overseas sex trade expeditions. It would be ideal to bring these women back to Korea. However, the process is complicated, and we must also consider the possibility of a spread of STDs if we were to allow a great influx of these women back into Korea.”
This comment is quite significant in that it supports the view that [Korean] women who have engaged in sex with foreigners are more likely to be infected with AIDS or STDs.
Violation of human rights vs. overall health [of society]
An official at the Korea Federation for HIV/AIDS Prevention (KFHAP) commented on this particular issue. “If we were to change voluntary AIDS testing into mandatory testing only for foreign teachers, from a human rights perspective that would constitute as discrimination against these people (foreign teachers) and would go against [the principle of] equality. However, from an overall health of society perspective, it is a fact that, because many Korean women associate with and date foreign teachers, exposure to danger is indeed that much higher.”
He added, “Even though native speaker teachers may account for a high percentage among foreigners, to apply mandatory AIDS testing instead of voluntary testing to only these people would be discrimination based on professional grounds and would be considered an excessive/unjustifiable measure. But on the other hand, there are opinions saying that there is a need for testing when we consider that the nature of their jobs involves a lot of interpersonal relations.”
Results of survey on foreigners seeking AIDS tests show motivations for getting tested: A new partner/change in partners; Korean men in homosexual relationships with foreigners [getting checkups]
The official [at the KFHAP] cautiously expressed the following. “This is an issue that our Federation is also concerned about. However, this is something that must be very carefully/seriously discussed while considering both sides of the issue (human rights violations vs. the realities of [society’s] overall health).
Among foreigners who are staying in Korea for 91 days or more, the government currently requires only those working in the entertainment business to submit certificates confirming their HIV/AIDS-negative status. However, two years ago, the Ministry of Employment and Labor also started to enforce a law that requires foreign workers who are industrial trainees and foreigners who have entered Korea under the Employment Permission System to mandatorily take AIDS tests.
He also expressed his frustrations with reality. “We are already enforcing mandatory testing on foreigners who work in these two groups: those in entertainment and manual labor workers. Critics are saying that it is too heavy-handed to include native speaker teachers in those groups. Also, foreign diplomacy issues need to be considered, so this is an issue that will not be resolved easily.”
“Prioritizing the Protection of Foreigners’ Human Rights Over the Protection of Our Own Citizens”
The Risk of AIDS Infections Must be Reduced by Strengthening E-2 Visa Rules
▲It is said that 80% of the foreigners who have requested tests from the foreigners’ AIDS counseling center for were English teachers. What do you think of this?
- E-2 Visa requirements must be strengthened. If many foreigners are included in that group of workers, then physical, disease check reports (AIDS) should be included in the required documents for E-2 visas, as many of them [foreigners] [already] go through this process. Currently, however, physical checkups and health tests that allow us to check for AIDS or syphilis are not included in the required documents [for foreign English teachers].
▲They say it is even more dangerous because there are many cases where hagwon teachers do not submit health check reports.
- When hiring native speaker assistant English teachers, Korea’s Ministry of Education & Human Resources Development does require the submission of a criminal record check report and a health check report issued by a medical institute. However, it is common for hagwons to omit this process as long as the [foreign] hagwon teacher has an E-2 visa.
▲The AIDS counseling Center for foreigners says that continuing to maintain the current policy of voluntary AIDS testing is the right thing to do in terms of protecting the human rights of foreigners. What do you think of this?
- They are patients, and therefore their human rights must be protected. In that case, however, our own people who are exposed to AIDS, our own daughters who might be included among them: Don’t they have human rights? I cannot help but view this as a reckless human rights claim. It is a fact that we are now exposed to more open sexual cultures and more dangerous situations, and [Korean] women who have met with foreigners are crying out over their anxieties regarding AIDS. It is inevitable that the levels of danger will increase when we consider the teachers who have entered on tourist visas, or illegally sojourning foreigner teachers that related authorities are not even capable of keeping track of.
▲How would you respond to counterarguments that claim that the perspective you have expressed is exclusivist/xenophobic toward foreign English teachers?
- This is not an exclusivist/xenophobic view; this is a matter of the survival of Korean women. They [foreigners] have entered Korea and are enjoying personal rights, but if Korean women are being exposed to the threat of AIDS, isn’t it right for the government to at least put some effort into blocking the source of the problem through [enhancing] the E-2 visa requirements?