South Koreas youngest lawmaker pushing for tattoo legalization
Despite a rich underground tattooing culture in South Korea, only medical professionals are legally allowed to perform tattoo procedures in the country.
This dates back to a 1992 Supreme Court ruling that defined tattooing as a medical service. Article 27 of the Medical Service Act indicates that “medical practices,” including tattoos, can only be conducted by licensed medical personnel.
South Korea’s youngest lawmaker Ryu Ho-jeong (28), from the country’s the progressive minor Justice Party, has taken a bold step in her campaign to liberalize strict regulations on tattooing: revealing her back full of removable sticker tattoos in a purple dress.
She delivered the performance during a joint news conference with a group of tattooists at the National Assembly on Wednesday, to promote a bill she proposed last week.
“Tattoos you can easily see on the streets are still illegal,” she said, claiming a decades-ago court ruling that has prohibited tattoos by non-medical people is “too old for South Korea in the year of 2021.”
The lawmaker’s bill seeks to create a licensing system that allows licensed non-medical workers to perform body art on other people.