SEOUL, Dec. 19 (Korea Bizwire) — An increasing number of low-income or unemployed individuals are resorting to suicide, sending a warning signal to the current safety net system offered by the government to protect socially vulnerable groups.
The Citizens’ Reunion for Life Respect, a civic group, reported that 3,390 people committed suicide last year due to financial difficulties, based on its analysis of statistical data provided by the National Police Agency (NPA).
This represents an 8.97 percent increase since 2017 (3,111 people). The suicide rate has increased for two years in a row since 2016.
Suicide cases with unidentified motives have also surged in number, leading many to believe that the number of suicides based on financial difficulties might be higher.
The number of suicide cases with reasons unidentified due to lack of a will or other reasons went from 106 cases in 2016 and 470 in 2017 to 842 in 2018.
Considering that many of the victims were low-income earners and unemployed individuals, financial difficulties might have been one of the motives behind committing suicide.
“The 52-hour workweek policy and higher minimum wage became a serious burden for self-employed businesses and low-income earners,” said Lim Sam-jin, joint head of the Citizens Coalition for Respect of Life.
The coalition plans to ask the Board of Audit and Inspection of Korea to investigate the NPA report related to the sudden surge in the number of unidentified cases of suicide.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)