‘NO KIDS ZONE’ Controversy in Korea


Some cafes or restaurants in Korea put up a sign saying that they don’t accept kids younger than a certain age (usually below 5, 8, or 13). It’s not often seen, but it can be found once in a while.


Many ‘No Kids Zone’ cafes and restaurants refer to safety issues or adult-focused ambiance as a reason. They try to ensure that people can enjoy their meals or beverages without disruptions or noise caused by children.

NO ________ ZONE

No Senior Zone (Seniors aged 60 or older are not allowed to enter)

After ‘No Kids Zone’ started, other ‘zones’ that selectively restrict a certain group of people have started to rise up, such as ‘No Senior Zone’, ‘No Study Zone’, ‘No Middleschoolers Zone’, and ‘No YouTuber Zone.’ Usually, stores that have experienced uncomfortable situations for a particular group of people have put up such signs.

Controversy Over ‘The Zones’

Children holding a sketchbook with the phrase “Get rid of No Kids Zones” 

Now, many people are worried about Korean society becoming more disconnected and intolerant. Although the National Human Rights Commission of Korea recommended not excluding children from entering the shops in 2017, it couldn’t stop the phenomenon.


To oppose the discrimination contained in the No Kid Zones, shops with ‘Yes Kids Zone’ signs are emerging as well. And now, Jeju Island is trying to enact an ordinance that could ban restaurant and cafe owners from putting up ‘No Kids Zone’ signs.

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