[EDITORIALS]Compassion for our childrenOne knows how seriously ill a society is when crimes against children are allowed to continue. Children need physical protection and education within their homes and society. Crimes against children are a tyranny against the weak. Society has a responsibility to systematically protect children.
Countries are considered advanced or backward according to how well these systems of protection work. Every member of society, not to mention the government, must actively participate in the effort to stop the rising number of crimes against children.
The investigation into the recent fatal kidnappings of two elementary school boys in Bucheon, west of Seoul, is going around in circles, with no clue to the criminal’s identity, let alone the motive.
Kidnapping innocent children who do not have enough physical or mental strength to resist is considered the most inhumane crime in both the East and the West. The police should marshal all their energy to apprehend the criminal, and the court must impose the highest penalty.
The recent attempted killing of a kindergartner attending a school for Japanese children in Seoul also shows the vulnerability of children.
The police have tentatively concluded that the suspect in this case suffers from persecution mania. Considering the reality that mentally ill strangers walk the streets, such crimes against children can happen again. This should not be treated as an accidental occurrence. Appropriate isolation and treatment for mentally ill patients are urgently needed.
Also, the security system for elementary schools and kindergartens should be checked. The police, the school and the neighbors must all cooperate to make areas near elementary schools free from crime.
The cases of a debt-ridden mother killing her two children before committing suicide and another father throwing his two children into the Han River are other examples of crimes against children. These horrors happened because the parents regarded their children not as individual human beings but as their possessions. A child has the right to live his or her own life. Let’s have more mercy and compassion for our children.