Unwed mothers in South Korea are often isolated from society and often mistreated as prostitutes. Due to the misconceptions about them, Korean unwed mothers tend to be more exposed to violence, sexual assault, and unfair treatment not only at their schools and places of work, but also within their own families and communities.


  • To raise awareness of the underprivileged living standards of unwed mothers and their children in Korea
  • To contribute to changing the misguided cultural and social recognition inside Korean society
  • To introduce best-practices from overseas, both in cases and policies and to propose policy changes
  • To empower unwed mothers not only as mothers but also as women by regaining self-confidence and independence


  • Hosting and co-organizing a forum on “Empowering Unwed Mothers in Korea” at the JCI Asia-Pacific Conference 2019
  • Providing cultural and educational programs for the children of the unwed mothers
  • Supporting existing initiatives of the unwed mothers to broaden their opportunities for education and work

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens together with Intree and the Seoul Young Leaders Club of Rotary co-organized a session on the topic of “Empowering Unwed Mothers in Korea: Combatting Social Stigma and Improving Policies” at the JCI Asia-Pacific Conference in Jeju on June 19th, 2019.

The session aimed to address the social stigma as well as societal and political challenges faced by unwed mothers in South Korea and to introduce best practice examples from existing projects and initiatives for them. By providing an interactive platform for these unwed mothers as well as domestic and international experts to freely discuss the issues and to seek solutions, the session suggested policy changes and other areas for improvement.

Video Highlights

Empowering Mothers Session

Session Interviews

Empowering Children

“We hope that the unwed mothers in Korea and across the globe can feel supported and more confident, not only as mothers but also as women empowered to act as global citizens.” – Ban Ki-moon Centre Team