Is Neglecting to Pay Child Support Child Abuse? | Be Korea-savvy

Is Neglecting to Pay Child Support Child Abuse?

Civic group members stage a rally in front of the National Assembly, Seoul on Oct. 8, 2018 to protest against deadbeat dads. (Yonhap)

Civic group members stage a rally in front of the National Assembly, Seoul on Oct. 8, 2018 to protest against deadbeat dads. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, Feb. 7 (Korea Bizwire)Public attention is focused on whether on whether actual punishment will be meted out as a man who has been accused of failing to pay child support is under police investigation.

Seoul’s Dongdaemun Police Station is investigating a case against a man accused of joint injury and violation of the child welfare law.

The man’s ex-wife filed a complaint with police last Monday, claiming that he had not paid child support for about eight years from February 2012 to February of this year, and that this constituted a violation of the Child Welfare Law.

Under current laws, however, it is difficult for courts to convict the father on criminal charges for unpaid child support.

For example, a civic group filed a complaint with the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office against 460 ‘deadbeat dads’ who did not pay child support from November 2017 to March of last year.

At that time, however, the prosecutors’ office suspended the case.

“The current law does not have a punishment rule, but in a comprehensive sense, the case should also fall into the category of child abuse,” said Gong Hye-jung, head of the Korea Child Abuse Prevention Association.

Child abuse, as stipulated by the Child Welfare Act, is ‘the act of physical, mental, and sexual violence or abuse by adults, including caregivers, that can harm the child’s health or welfare or impair normal development, and the child’s caregivers’ abandoning or neglecting the child.’

Some argue that the current law should be revised to add punishment rules or expand the scope of the law’s interpretation.

Chung Ick-joong, a social welfare professor at Ewha Womans University, said that “if the law is widely interpreted, suspects may be charged with child neglect under the Child Welfare Law.”

However, he added that “the government should also consider the effectiveness, since there will be those who will just get punished.”

Meanwhile, the Suwon District Court earlier issued a ruling in favor of the operator of a “Bad Fathers” site, which was sent to trial on charges of violating laws on promoting the use of information and communications networks and protecting information.

Bad Fathers is a website that releases personal information such as pictures, names and workplaces to pressure parents who do not pay child support.

Seven citizen jurors unanimously judged the operator not guilty in the trial, which was conducted by as a civic participation trial.

The jury and the court saw that Bad Fathers site’s disclosure of personal information was in line with the public interest.

D. M. Park (

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