April 14, 2023
SEOUL – The government on Thursday unveiled plans to combat child abuse by conducting a nationwide inspection.
Under the plan, the government will keep track of toddlers aged 2 or younger who have either not seen a pediatrician in the past year, or who have not completed the essential vaccination program that a baby has to go through within four months after birth.
Korea estimates the number of such children to stand at around 11,000. The three-month inspection of toddlers will kick off Monday.
“(Seoul) will work to substantialize a system to detect children prone to abuse,” Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said at the Child Policy Coordination Committee meeting in the Government Complex Seoul.
The government said in a statement that children aged 2 or younger are of the age group where violence and abuse is least detectable. For example, a 24-year-old mother was arrested in February for abandoning her 2-year-old son at home, who later died. The toddler was found to have had no medical record.
Han also said in the speech the government is working to introduce laws including a Children’s Act to stipulate the state’s role in ensuring children’s rights and welfare.