Updated April. 12, 2014 05:29
With controversy flaring up over lenient punishment handed to a stepmother who beat her stepdaughter to death in Chilgok, North Gyeongsang Province, a total of 97 children are found to have died due to child abuse over the past 12 years. If the number of victims who have not been tallied in statistics is included, the actual number of children who died due to abuse is believed to be even larger.
According to a "2012 report on current situation of child abuse" released by the National Child Protection Agency on Friday, the number of children who died due to child abuse from 2001 to 2012 amounted to a total of 97, with 16, the largest annual figure, dying in 2005.
In 2012 alone, the number of child abuse victims amounted to 6,403, with 10 of them or 0.2 percent dying. Of those who died, children aged below one numbered three in total, the most among different age groups. The other seven were scattered one to two each among age groups 13 or under. It means that most of the victims were elementary students or younger. Among those who abused the children who died, biological parents numbered six in total, taking up majority, neighbors accounted for two, and stepfather and kindergarten teacher one each, respectively.
Meanwhile, the government and the ruling Saenuri Party agreed on Friday to hire extra 5,000 civil servants for social welfare service to remove blind spots of state welfare programs. Saenuris policy committee held a party-administration consultative meeting at the National Assembly, which was also attended by Health and Welfare Minister Moon Hyung-pyo, Justice Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, and Gender Equality and Family Minister Cho Yoon-sun. The meeting decided to ensure that the 5,000 civil servants will only focus on social welfare service.
In the wake of the stepmothers child abuse case in Chilgok, North Gyeongsang Province, the government has decided to construct a central management system for family violence as quickly as possible to promptly cope with child abuse, and unify response systems that have been scattered at different ministries.