» 07/12/2012, 00.00
Seoul government agrees with Church: "Increase in birth rate, or we will disappear"
Joseph Yun Li-sun
A report by the Korean Institute for Health and Social Affairs warns: "If we get to a birth rate of 1. 8%, we will lose everything." Government accused of failing to support families or encourage procreation. A victory for the Catholics, who have always fought against these ills.
Seoul (AsiaNews) - After nearly two decades, the South Korean government
recognizes that the country urgently needs in a new policy in favour of births.
If it does not increase the birth rate, one of the lowest in the world, Korea runs the
risk of losing its status as an international power. So says, the Korea
Institute for Health and Social Affairs lining up alongside the Catholic Church.
In a paper published yesterday on the occasion of World Population Day, the
Institute points out: "We need to bring the birth rate to at least 1. 8%
within the next decade, to keep the population at 50 million. The only way we
will be able to maintain our social, economic and military power. Otherwise, we
will disappear. "
Currently, the Korean birth rate is at 1.05%, one of the lowest in the world. Aware
of the risk inherent in these data, the Catholic Church has always been
involved in several programs to support the family and procreation. In the
country issues related to genetics and cloning are deeply felt, as it is here
that the first experiments related to the reproduction of human cells took
According to the Institute, the problem is that "too many people shun
marriage and the idea of having children. The government must implement a new
system that provides health care and insurance to those who decide to start a
family. A change in mentality, which is perhaps most worrying, is needed.
In South Korea,
in fact, economic growth and professional success have become the focus of the
lives of almost all inhabitants. Although a slight increase has been seen in 2003,
the year when almost no children were born in the country, last year maternity
leave hit about 58 thousand. This is because, the report concludes, "we
think it's a bad thing. Instead it is a good thing."
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