South Korea’s State Council has approved amendments to the Family Procedure Code that would allow abused minors to directly petition for termination of parental rights, according to the Ministry of Justice.
The revised bill, which was approved by the cabinet on Tuesday, aims to strengthen the procedural rights of minors in domestic lawsuits, the ministry said. statement.
Under the new law, minors will be able to file parental termination requests directly with the court, as opposed to current law, which requires the appointment of a third party to represent the minor.
“This is to strengthen the rights and welfare of minors by introducing an assistant system for reporting procedures,” the ministry said.
The ministry said it would be difficult to find an agent to help minors apply for termination of custody, as relatives of the family may be reluctant to participate in such lawsuits.
The law change also allows courts to hear children’s opinions, regardless of their age, when determining child custody in divorce proceedings. Currently, only minors over the age of 13 can speak in custody cases.
A court can issue a detention order if child support payments are delayed by 30 days instead of the current 3 months. The ministry said the revised law aims to expedite the collection of child support.
The number of child abuse cases in South Korea will increase by 21.7% to 37,605 in 2021, compared to 30,905 in 2022, according to The Korea Times. report Citing the annual report of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, in August.
Of the total cases, 40 children died of abuse. According to the report, 83.7% of child abuse cases were committed by parents, 9.6% by surrogate guardians, 4% by relatives, and 1.7% by strangers.