Ban on sex shops near kindergartens ruled constitutional

SEOUL, July 1 (Yonhap) -- The Constitutional Court ruled Monday that banning adult shops in the neighborhoods of kindergartens is constitutional because it helps protect juveniles and promote their sound growth.

In a unanimous decision, the court dismissed a petition filed by two local erotic shop owners who argued that prohibiting their businesses simply because the establishments are located near nursery schools infringes upon their freedom of occupation.

The petitioners have been on trial after facing jail terms and fines in violation of the School Health Act and other relevant rules that prohibit adult shops within a 200-meter radius of kindergartens.

"Adult shops can provoke abnormal sexual curiosity not only for adolescents but grown-ups, which could lead to higher chances of sex crimes against children," the court said in a ruling.

The court added that the restriction is "deemed not too far in limiting basic rights because it serves the public interest considerably in terms of creating a safe educational environment and ensuring healthy character and personality development for the young."

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