- Passing of the Amendment of Social Welfare Law at the Assembly plenary session
On December 29, 2011, Amendment of Social Welfare Law on the introduction of 'public director' was passed. It has been 7 years since Solidarity of Social Welfare Facility started their activities and 3 months since the <Dogani> syndrome atirred outrage throughout society. <Dogani> is a korean movie based on an actual crime case of concealing secual assault against disabled children at the 'Inhwa School' in Gwang-ju city.
Gong-gam has been participating actively since the first of Dogani measurement committee for resolution of this crime and revision of the law. Notable activities in amending social service law, participating in open forums for law revision and press interview, visiting members of national assembly and so on.
Since 2004, I've supported protection of people who live in welfare facilities from the violation of their human rights, and helped the disabled live better in society. In particular, I've been involved in work such as 'Investigation of welfare facilities and mental hospital', 'Making a research paper about protection for non-registered facility inmates', 'Accusation on human right violation in facilities', 'Supporting the demonstrations about corruption of social welfare corporation' and so on. So I'm deeply pleased with the law revisions this time.
Last 2007, Amendment for the obligation to assign public directors was submitted in the national assembly once, but it was rejected eventually due to public indifference and dispute by social welfare corporations that it is a violation of a corporation's autonomy and private property. Still such amendment might not have been possible without the <Dogani> syndrome which stirred anger and attention all over the country.
The main contents of the newly-revised Social Welfare law is First, ensuring the publicness of social service so that Social Welfare may always be extended to the public sphere. This includes imposing the federal and local governments a duty to make an effort to offer proper services to people using social welfare and also to prepare a prompt system of action on human rights violations of the social welfare user.
Second, tightening qualification of the director, increasing the minimum number of directors from 5 to 7, and electing over 1/3 of the directors from those recommended by the committee of social welfare, and local social welfare consulting group. Also, expanding reason of disqualification, so that mayors and governors can order the dismissal of directors who commit obvious criminal acts.
Third, tightening management and overseeing to the social welfare corporation or facilities so that canceling the foundation permission is facilitated when repetitive or collective sexual abuse occurs. Also imposing a duty of taking the proceedings and releasing that, and making the minimum of social welfare facilities service to implement that.
This law revision is very beneficial for people who are suffering from violation of human rights, exploited or neglected in the social welfare facilities. But it still insufficient in some points. There are no detailed grounds in the law on the local society welfare system, and the duty of providing information and the right of formal objection to realize application process of welfare services is non-existant. Moreover a 'Rights Safeguard System' for protection from the human rights violation isn't included in the revision.
With this revised law, problems of corruption and violation of human rights of the social welfare corporations and facilities will be improved. But still there are chances that another <Dogani> case can happen. To ensure that such a case never happens, the citizens have to be concerned about it constantly, the government needs to engage in strict managing and overseeing, and investigative agencies and courts must enforce a strict rule of justice.