By Yeni Website positioning and Minwoo Park
SEOUL (Reuters) – The Constitutional Court docket in Seoul upheld a ban on tattooing on Thursday, confirming South Korea as the one developed nation that allows nobody however medical professionals to carry out the process.
Tattoo artists derided the choice, calling it backward and missing cultural understanding.
Regardless of the decades-old ban, South Korea has practically 50,000 tattoo artists, who threat police raids and prosecution for practising their commerce.
Violating the ban is punishable by fines of as much as 50 million gained ($41,300) and jail phrases – often two years, although the regulation supplies for as a lot as life.
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Tattooist associations have initiated a collection of court docket actions since 2017 difficult the regulation, saying it breaches their freedom of expression and proper to have interaction in an occupation.
In a 5-4 vote, the Constitutional Court docket dominated on Thursday that the regulation was constitutional. It dismissed the fits, saying tattooing brings potential unintended effects and issues of safety.
“The restricted medical data and expertise concerned in tattooing can’t guarantee the degrees of therapy that medical professionals can present, therapy that could be wanted earlier than or after the process,” the decision mentioned.
A union of 650 tattoo artists issued a press release condemning the choice, calling it “retrograde” and “not value a penny.”
“The court docket continues to be strolling on 4 ft when all residents stroll upright,” mentioned Kim Do-yoon, the union’s chief, a famend tattooist higher often known as Doy.
Kim mentioned the court docket had didn’t advance since a 1992 Supreme Court docket resolution that copied a Japanese verdict stipulating that tattooing was medical exercise, regardless that Japanese courts have since overturned that ruling.
Kim Sho-yun, vp of the Korea Tattoo Federation, additionally criticised the most recent ruling, saying the present regulation is “nonsense” particularly given the nation’s rising tattoo market and rising international standing.
“Why do they insist tattooing is a medical process regardless that medical doctors cannot and do not try this?” she tearfully advised a information convention in entrance of the courthouse, vowing to proceed the combat.
The recognition of “Okay-tattoos” has been surging at residence and overseas in recent times due to their fine-line designs, delicate particulars and use of daring colors.
Whereas tattoos are often lined up on tv, many Korean celebrities, together with members of Okay-pop bands, have flaunted them on social media.
Polls present most South Koreans help legalisation of tattooing, however medical associations oppose it, saying its use of needles is an invasive process that would harm the physique.
President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol expressed help earlier than this month’s election for legalising so-called beauty tattoos, that are semi-permanent and fashionable for enhancing eyebrows, eyelines and hairlines.
(Reporting by Yeni Website positioning, Daewoung Kim and Minwoo Park; Writing by Hyonhee Shin; Enhancing by Bradley Perrett)
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