Human rights abuse towards the disabled exceeds that found in the general public. There is still a blind spot that ignores the human rights of people with disabilities, a sign of a distorted aspect of our society. In the Peace column of the Catholic Peace Weekly the writer, well acquainted with the welfare work in Korea, considers the situation with the disabled.
In the facilities for the disabled, teachers responsible for the rehabilitation of those with mental disabilities were violently abused and even photographed by the teachers. Physical and emotional abuse of persons with disabilities is something that existed in the past and continues to exist but when the caregivers are observed abusing it's easy to understand the public anger.
According to the advocacy organization for persons with disabilities, there were more than 3,600 complaints of abuse for the disabled last year alone. More than 10 cases occur every day. As this situation continues, there is talk that these facilities for the disabled be removed completely from society.
In Korea, the debate over the dismantling began in the mid-2000s, and de-institutionalization is based on the need for humans to live in a minimal regulatory environment and to live normal and independent lives as possible.
In the UK and elsewhere in Europe, since the 1950s, abuse and neglect of people with disabilities have emerged as social problems, necessitating the movement to close these institutions. In Sweden, which is called the welfare state, the government has already closed the facilities for the disabled.
The Swedish government is taking further steps to encourage people with disabilities in the facility to develop their own plans for leaving the facility. The municipalities provide group housing for the disabled, staff support, various services, and cultural leisure activities. It is a result of collaborative effort and cooperation.
It is not that we have to follow the ways the developed countries have gone, however, it is time for the government and the local government to find a policy that is right for people with disabilities. We must support people with disabilities who need medical care or protection, as equal citizens, and as individuals who are guaranteed freedom.
Pope Francis has emphasized the need to always be open to those suffering. We have his example on a trip returning from Mass where he left his car to bless a person who was disabled, showing his sensitivity. He closed his eyes to the disability and criticized the egoistic attitude of society in isolating them. Those who reject the disabled are not living in the real world, without understanding the true meaning of life. He leaves us with much to think about.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare has issued a community care policy. It ensures that people with disabilities who are constrained can live their own lives cared for by the local community. Includes increasing the welfare services for people with disabilities and increasing the rate of mandatory employment for the disabled. We are to view the issue in what the disable need from their point of view and understand and sympathize and make our efforts coincide.