Welfare workers to get rights education
By Yun Suh-young
Social welfare workers will receive education on human rights in order to improve their service to the public, while welfare facilities will be run more transparently, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said Friday.
The move is part of the government’s efforts to crack down on those infringing on human rights of the disabled, especially the mentally challenged.
It comes after extensive media reports about shocking cases of teachers sexually molesting students at a school for the disabled in Gwangju. The crimes came to the surface after the box-office hit “The Crucible,” based on the events at the school, was released.
The ministry plans to present a bill to revise welfare-related laws to the National Assembly after considering public opinion until May 23.
The revised bill, if finalized and receiving parliamentary approval, will require welfare facilities to improve their transparency and better protect the human rights of the socially-weak.
The ministry is seeking to take bolder measures against those committing sexual crimes at welfare facilities and schools for the disabled.
Operators of such facilities may be subject to a shutdown, in addition to their dismissal and harsher criminal punishment if they are found guilty of sexual abuse and molestation.
They may also face charges of human rights violations.
Also, information about welfare facilities that break the law will be made public. The names of the facilities and their representatives and reasons for punishment will be listed on the websites of district offices for six months.
People can submit their opinions on the revised bill to the welfare policy department of the ministry until May 23 by mail or fax.