In South Korea, only visually impaired people can be licensed masseurs, dating back over 100 years to a Japanese colonial law that was set up to guarantee the blind a livelihood.

South Korean court rules that massage licences are preserve of the blind

South Korea’s constitutional court has ruled that professional massage services should be the preserve of the blind as they generally have fewer career choices.

The court on Tuesday upheld a controversial century old law that restricts the awarding of massage licences and the ownership of massage parlours to the visually impaired, reported Yonhap news agency.

The law calls for up to five years in prison or £35,000 in fines for violators and had been challenged by a massage shop owner who had been charged with offering services without a licence in 2015.

The law has been at the centre of an emotionally charged debate in recent years and the defendant argued that the rule infringes on the occupational freedom of non-blind people.Read More