SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, January 13, 2021 — Seoul Metropolitan Government will strengthen the public role of “preventing and responding to child abuse” as conducting full-scale emergency investigation into 35,000 children at high risk of child abuse and establishing “Child Abuse Response Team.”
First, conduct a comprehensive survey of 35,000 high-risk children. It will conduct an emergency inspection by March on 658 children who have been reported twice or more over the past three years and 34,607 children at risk of neglect identified through the “E-Child Happiness System.”
Public officials in the local districts dedicated to child abuse, will visit and check 658 children’s families who have been reported as abused more than twice over the past three years to check whether they are abused or not. According to the risks through in-depth interviews to all families including parents, it will link to police investigations and follow-up management. 34,607 children will meet with welfare planner and initiate necessary actions.
It will also strengthen the city’s overall coordination of child abuse prevention. The “Child Abuse Response Team” will be organized in the city government’s Family Division to establish an organic cooperation system with autonomous districts, child protection agencies, and the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency.
In addition, the “Seoul Metropolitan Government Children’s Abuse Prevention Consultative Group” will be organized and operated to diagnose problems with child protection and risk discovery systems and to find overall alternatives. Organized by the head of the Women & Family Policy Affairs Office, the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, and the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education and others will discuss information sharing and cooperation systems with related agencies.
Seven child protection agencies, which have been operated by the city government on a private basis, will review the transition to direct management step by step after collecting opinions from related experts and others to encourage the public interest.
The number of officials dedicated to child abuse in the autonomous districts who conduct investigations with the police will increase from 62 to 72 during the first half of this year to enable a two-person survey system, and will actively review the additional staffing to 50 reports per an official through consultation with related ministries.
In addition, a campaign “From Bystander To Watchman” will be promoted. It publicizes videos to
prevent child abuse in Seoul, autonomous districts, related agencies’ websites and electronic boards and actively informs citizens of the “Child Abuse Report Phone 112.”
Song Da-Young, the Deputy Mayor for the Women & Family Policy Affairs Office, said, “In the wake of this incident, we will thoroughly check the public child abuse prevention and response system and strengthen related measures to ensure proper operation in the field. We ask for your interest and active participation in preventing child abuse.”