South Korea officially ends ban on imported sex dolls after customs seizure lawsuits

South Korea has officially lifted a ban on importing full-body sex dolls, ending years of debate over how much the government can intrude on people’s private lives.

Although there are no laws or regulations prohibiting the importation of sex dolls, hundreds and perhaps thousands have been seized by customs, who cite a clause in the law prohibiting the importation of goods “detrimental to the fine traditions and public morals of the country.” “.

Importers complained and took their case to court, most of whom agreed with them and ordered customs to release the sex dolls as they are used in people’s private spaces and do not undermine human dignity.

On Monday, the Korean Customs Service issued a statement that it had begun enforcing a revised policy to bring life-size adult sex dolls into the country. It said it reviewed recent court rulings and opinions from relevant government agencies, including the Department for Gender Equality and Family.

The Customs Service said it would continue to ban the import of child sex dolls or others impersonating certain people. Other countries like the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom also ban child sex dolls.

While South Korea’s decision reflects slow but gradual steps to limit government interference in private life, some women’s rights and conservative organizations are likely to voice renewed opposition to the use of sex dolls. They say they deepen the sexual objectification of women and undermine public morals.

Lee Sang-jin, a former head of a local company that imports sex dolls, welcomed the customs service’s decision.

“It’s a sensible decision, albeit a little late,” Lee said. “We thought that our people’s rights to seek happiness and to use (sex dolls) in their private lives were restricted by the state. There are different types of people who use (sex dolls), including those who are sexually alienated or those who need them for artistic purposes.”

South Korean authorities don’t crack down on the sale of domestically made sex dolls, but their quality is generally inferior to foreign-made ones, Lee said.

Lee said his former company has already taken back more than 20 sex dolls from customs officials through lawsuits. He said the company had filed separate lawsuits seeking state compensation because many of the sex dolls found became unusable after being confiscated by customs for about two years.

The Customs Service’s decision would allow importers to get back their sex dolls, which are being held in government-run storage facilities.

Customs officials said they probably still own more than 1,000 sex dolls sent to South Korea since 2018.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/south-korea-formally-ends-ban-on-imported-sex-dolls-after-lawsuits-over-customs-seizures/ South Korea officially ends ban on imported sex dolls after customs seizure lawsuits

Rick Schindler

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