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Govt., ruling party work to reduce suicide, traffic, industrial accident deathsBy Yonhap
Published : Jan. 22, 2018 - 11:01
During a policy coordination meeting, they decided to more systematically monitor those at a high risk of suicide, toughening the criteria for passing drivers' license tests, and strengthening crackdowns on drunk driving and safety standards in industrial facilities.
"The party and government shared the view that the basic state responsibility lies in the protection of people's safety and their lives," Kim Tae-nyeon, the party's policy chief, told a press briefing.
"With the goal to halve the number of deaths in three areas in five years, we have decided to focus on pushing for the projects to protect citizens' lives," he added.
During a press conference early this month, President Moon Jae-in reaffirmed his pledge to enhance public safety.
As for suicide prevention, the officials agreed to carry out a thorough analysis of the common traits and patterns of high-risk citizens and to nurture "gatekeepers" to fend off potential suicide.
Ruling party officials said the government and the party will also draw up measures to better protect citizens from the dangers of large trucks by expanding the installation of high-tech safety tools, such as lane departure warning systems.
The two sides also agreed to toughen safety regulations and laws in industries prone to accidents, especially at construction sites.
The issue of suicide prevention again topped the agenda of President Moon Jae-in's weekly meeting with his top aides held later in the day at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.
At the meeting, the presidential office decided to designate 2019 as the year of suicide prevention.
"The government's objective is to reduce the total number of suicides to less than 10,000 a year and to less than 20 out of every 100,000 people by 2022," Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Park Soo-hyun told a press briefing. "It seeks to not only prevent suicides by establishing a public safety net to protect the lives and everyday life of the people but also promote mental health, remove welfare blind spots and restore regional communities."
The country's suicide rate has remained the highest among all 35 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development since 2003, according to Park.
In 2016, the country's suicide rate stood at 25.6 out of every 100,000 population with 13,092 people taking their own lives in the same year, he noted.
"President Moon expressed hope that related government ministries and local governments will work together to implement the new government measures, and that the whole of society, including the religious, media and business circles, will help spread a suicide prevention campaign to protect the lives of our people," the spokesman said.(Yonhap)
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