SEOUL, Jan. 7 (Korea Bizwire) — The government will soon be obliged to protect the rights of children whose parents have been incarcerated for various reasons.
The National Police Agency (NPA), the Supreme Court, and the Ministry of Justice were found to have accepted the recommendations sent in May of last year by the National Human Rights Council of Korea (NHRCK) to protect the rights of children whose parents have been placed under arrest.
The NHRCK emphasized that these children are suffering from psychological trauma and poverty stemming from family dissolution, calling on the NPA, the Supreme Court, and the Ministry of Justice to take appropriate measures.
In response, the NPA added a new provision in its internal rules on criminal investigation which requires agents to take proper measures to minimize the psychological impact on children when apprehending their parents at the scene.
Separate guidelines have also been sent to all regional police agencies and training institutions to prevent children from witnessing their parents being apprehended by the police, that also require law enforcement agents to check with the apprehended suspect if he/she has children in need of protection.
The Supreme Court vowed to deploy additional investigators to see if sentencing a suspect to incarceration might deprive the child of a guardian.
The Ministry of Justice decided to install a family room at all correctional facilities by next year to allow children to meet with their parents in a more family-oriented environment.
The NHRCK reported that as of 2017, there were around 54,000 children whose parents were in jail.
Data showed that 11.7 percent of these children were found to be receiving basic welfare benefits, showing the extent to which they are suffering from extreme poverty.
Another 6.3 percent of the children were known to suffer from trauma after witnessing their parents being apprehended.
H. M. Kang (email@example.com)