Published : 2013-12-31 14:31
Updated : 2013-12-31 16:04
Child abusers whose assault has caused death of their victims could spend their life behind bars indefinitely in the future, as a bill obliging tougher measures against child abuse passed the National Assembly’s general session on Tuesday.
According to the special bill on child protection and abuse prevention proposed by Rep. Ahn Hong-joon of the ruling Saenuri Party, those whose abuse resulted in death of the child victim will be subject to life sentence while those whose deeds inflicted “hard to retrieve” damage will spend more than three years in prison. Those who are verified “habitual” in their abuse will receive 50 percent heavier punishment.
Should the abuser be verified as the parent or guardian of the victim, the government could deprive them of their rights, the lawmakers agreed.
“Child abuse could pose huge damage to people who are yet in the stage of growing up. For that very reason, adult assaulters should be dealt with stricture punishment,” Ahn said. The current law puts child abusers up to five years in jail.
“The new law is expected to protect children from any exterior harm until they become healthy members of our society,” he added.
The lawmakers also passed a bunch of bills at the last day of the year.
Among them is a bill prohibiting forced prostitution of entertainers. Named after an actress who committed suicide in concern of the repeated abuse, the “Jang Ja-yeon Law” will put those who force entertainers to offer sex to other people in change for money or favors up to 10 years in prison or up to 100 million won fine. Those who broker the prostitution will have to spend up to three years in prison or pay up to 30 million won fine.
Entertainers who are under 15 years old will be banned from working between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. without their legal guardians’ approval and chaperoning.
The assemblymen also decided to ban the cross-shareholding of large corporations with more than 5 trillion won in combined assets from July. The circular shareholding has been blamed for enabling chaebols’ dominance of large corporations with tiny portion of shares.
The practice conducted so far will be tolerated but any additional execution will be subject to thorough punishment, they conceded.
Legislators also agreed to reduce the number of independent taxis from 2015 as the market is said to have oversaturated. Issuance of new taxi license will be put on halt at Seoul and other taxi-dense areas while taxi companies planning to cut the number of cabs will be rewarded with up to 13 million won per vehicle for their loss.
The lawmakers also capped the interest rate of loan sharks to 25 percent a year from the current 30 percent. The financial organizations’ visiting debtors’ houses or workplaces will be prohibited.
By Bae Ji-sook (email@example.com)