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South Korea slashes funding for sex crime prevention initiativesBy Lee Jung-youn
Published : Sept. 10, 2023 - 14:21
The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family has set its budget for next year at 1.7 trillion won ($1.2 billion), marking a 9.4 percent increase from this year. However, funding for teenage sex education and initiatives to prevent the recurrence of sexual and domestic violence have been reduced.
The Ministry of Economy and Finance said Sunday that the budget for programs aimed at preventing the recurrence of domestic and sexual violence, including correctional treatment programs for perpetrators of domestic violence and education for adolescents who commit sexual violence, was set at 1.23 billion won this year. These projects face potential suspension, as they are slated to receive no government funding from next year.
The Finance Ministry's project evaluation team said that "without government support, it is highly likely that the service will not be provided," emphasizing that the projects are worth backing. Despite this, the government has reportedly eliminated all funding for these projects, citing overlap with initiatives already undertaken by the Justice Ministry.
The budget of 556 million won for sex education for elementary, middle, and high school students was also cut. The government explained that it did not allocate a budget for next year because sex education cannot be distinguished from anti-violence education stipulated under the School Health Act, and added that demand for the project has also decreased.
The budget for domestic violence victims, which provides counseling, protective facilities, housing and medical expenses, increased slightly from 39.2 billion won to 39.6 billion won for next year.
Next year, the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family is expected to focus on family issues rather than women and gender-related policies. The biggest increase in the budget will focus on tackling the country's low birth rate.
A total of 467.8 billion won has been allocated for child care services and multi-child support, up 113.2 billion won from the 354.6 billion won allocated for this year. The budget for family support, including single-parent family support, also increased by 91.4 billion won, and the budget for multicultural families and their children also increased by 27.8 billion won to 48.5 billion won.
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