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  • 작성자 사진Park Se-jeong

[Feature: Children] Are Children Being Respected like They Should Be?

No.158 / Jun 13, 2022

“Do not make light of children. Children live a newer generation than adults.” These are the words of So-pa Bang Jeong-hwan. In the days where children were not respected, he designated May 5 as Children’s Day, a Korean national holiday, and endeavored to guarantee children’s rights. To this day, many people have attempted to do the same. However, news reports on child abuse are rampant, and there are still countries where illegal child labor is enforced. Are people truly taking care of children and protecting their rights?

Child abuse

In October 2020, a disturbingly tragic news startled the Korean society. A married couple adopted an 8-month-old baby, and abused her to death when she was only 16 months old. What made this incident more shocking is the fact that the police had not investigated it with much attention or concern when the criminal act was first suspected. Child abuse cases have always been a serious problem. Many people think it is child abuse only when physical violence is inflicted on children, while this is not the case at all. In addition to inflicting physical harm, neglecting a child without satisfying their basic needs, sexually exploiting them, and emotional violence through abusive language or harsh criticism are all types of child abuse. One out of ten children who were reported as victims of child abuse go through the same thing again. Additionally, it is not always easy to punish the parent if they deny the crime. According to the renowned psychiatrist Oh Eun-young, a good way to prevent such crimes is to monitor the entire family, while the child sees a pediatric psychiatrist and the parent (or parents) sees a consultant who can help figure out whether the situation can be termed a child abuse incident.

Child labor

It is easy to think of child labor as an event of the past. However, it is still a big problem in some countries. Although the number of children engaged in child labor has significantly decreased over the years, 160 million children worldwide were engaged in labor in June 2021, and 9 million children are at risk of being pushed into child labor by the end of 2022 because of the pandemic, to borrow the words of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Some of the countries known for high child labor rate are India, Somalia, Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Child labor is a serious issue for many reasons; the most important being that it divests children of opportunities and rights to acquire adequate education and have dreams for the future, in addition to inflicting physical harm on them. People should stop purchasing products of companies involved in child abuse to put an end to it. They should protest against such companies and those who invest in them.

Children are the future of our society, and must be loved and treated with respect just like any other human being, even when they are not one’s own. Too many children are involved in crime or labor around the world, and it is the adults around them who must put a stop to such actions.


By Park Se-jeong, AG Reporter

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