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SOCIAL ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA

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POVERTY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Health and Welfare is responsible for the policies concerning public welfare support, health insurance and pension plan. Specifically, the National Welfare Planning Board was established in 1995, which is chaired by the Health and Welfare Minister and comprised of Government bureaucrats, scholars, researchers, and welfare program managers. The committee plays a key role in constructing a new framework for welfare policies, which includes evaluating the health and welfare status of the country, making short- and long-term plans, and putting priority on various policies concerning health and welfare issues. Non-governmental parties are active in advisory committees concerning welfare policies. Various anti-poverty programs are promoted by NGOs, such as welfare foundations, religious organizations, and volunteer groups.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Republic of Korea's national strategies are focused on:

Highlights of accomplishments in this area include:


Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

The percentage of the population living in absolute poverty in The Republic of Korea has drastically decreased due to rapid economic growth. Absolute poverty comprised approximately 40.9 percent of the total population in 1965; within three decades, it had decreased to less than 3.9 percent in 1995. The Government is currently implementing the livelihood protection system to secure the basic livelihood for persons who are not able to work, while providing support for the self-reliance of persons who are unemployed but capable of working. Present public assistance programs include livelihood aid, health care, educational assistance, funeral expense support, small business loans, and job creation projects, among others. Some 4.5% of GDP was expended for social security in 1994, which comprised 8.5% of the central government's budget.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

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This information is based on The Republic of Korea's submission to the 5th Session of the Republic of Korea, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997


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DEMOGRAPHICS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Health and Welfare, and especially the Family Health and Sanitation Division under the Bureau of Public Health, is the body most directly involved with demographic issues. Other groups involved are KIHASA (The Republic of Korea Institute for Health & Affairs) and PPFD (Planned Parenthood Federation of The Republic of Korea).

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

Demographic programs are financed by:

There are plans to hold a seminar on population related issues in March/April of 1997.

Status 

The Republic of Korea's fertility rate has rapidly declined as a result of the successful implementation of family planning programs. The population growth rate declined from 3.0 percent in 1960 to 0.93 percent in 1990. The population growth rate still continues to decline, and it is expected to stabilize in the year 2021; thus The Republic of Korea has reached the last stage of demographic transition. The drastic fertility rate change below the replacement level since the late 1980's has brought about new population problems, such as population aging, labour force shortages, and a decrease in the school-age population. Because of this, the Government adopted new population policies in 1996 with an emphasis on the quantitative and welfare context for the advancement of the quality of life. Future directions of the Government policy include the following programme areas:

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

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This information is based on The Republic of Korea's submission to the 5th Session of the Republic of Korea, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997.


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HEALTH

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Health and Welfare is most directly involved with health issues. However, local governments sometimes make their own decisions on local plans and programs. Under the Ministry of Health and Welfare, there are Public Health Bureau, Health Centers, Health Subcenters, National Institute of Health, National Medical Center, National Mental Hospital, National Tuberculosis Hospital, National Rehabilitation Center and The Republic of Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs. The Ministry of Health and Welfare will provide preventive healthcare for everyone and construct a health information system and health surveillance system.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available.

Status 

The general health status in The Republic of Korea has greatly improved in the past three decades and it is now in good condition, as shown by the changes in relevant social indicators, such as in the life expectancy and infant mortality rate. The introduction of a National Medical Insurance System in 1989 has contributed to the upgrading of health levels. Recent improvements in living conditions have brought about reduced prevalence rate of communicable disease. However, poor eating habits, workaholism, lack of physical exercise, smoking and drinking behaviours are all contributing to the growth of chronic diseases. Therefore, there is a growing need for disease prevention and health promotion programs that will focus on improving environmental conditions and life-styles. The guiding principle of the recent The Republic of Korean health policy is the advancement of service quality in order to prevent and treat a variety of diseases for everyone, regardless of social class and residential area. The rapid economic growth has led to adjustments in health and social fields. Some national public health programs are directed toward health education to prevent smoking, drinking and the spread of HIV/AIDS. Social and economic pressures in The Republic of Korea have affected workers both physically and mentally, calling for large scale social and health programs.

These are some of the measures taken by the Government for the protection and promotion of national health while continuing sustainable development:

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies

No information is available.  

Financing


The expenditure of the MOHW equalled 4.0% of the general account of the national budget in 1995 fiscal year and public health-related expenditure totalled US$18,250,000.

Cooperation

The Republic of Korea cooperates with international institutions in:

 

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This information is based on The Republic of Korea's submission to the 5th Session of the Republic of Korea, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997

Click here to go to the Health and health-related statistical information from the World Health Organization.

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EDUCATION

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

No information is available.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The Government is establishing the Comprehensive Plan for Environmental Education and Public Awareness. In addition, to realize the environmental education progam of "Green Vision 21", the Government is developing for distribution an environmental education program. This programme counts with assistance from the private sector.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

The National Council of Environmental Organizations plays an important role as an NGO forum to reflect citizens' concerns and opinions regarding policy-making. Major NGOs in The Republic of Korea participate in this council.

Programmes and Projects 

To provide students with opportunities to learn environmental subjects, the number of teachers who will be specialized in environment subjects is being increased, and efficient teaching materials for environment-related subjects for grade schools, middle schools, and high schools are being prepared by consolidating the operation of the Environment Conservation Model School, established in 1985. The Government will develop and implement Site Participation Environmental Education Programs such as 'Inspection of Local River Contamination', and an 'Environmental Basic Facility Visit' as curricular classes or during outside-class learning.

Status 

Educational assistance and occupational training are critical in ending the vicious cycle of the "low income, low schooling, low skills, low income" syndrome. The Government is developing projects to eliminate poverty as well as to increase economic growth and environmental improvement. The Government pays for all educational expenses through elementary school and middle school in the countryside The Government's additional education policies for the poor include a professional career education program and some scholarship programs.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

As environmental consciousness rises, environment-related subjects are increasing in agricultural and vocational high schools and in colleges specializing in training technology experts. The Government will continue to integrate various forms of environmental education and training at all stages to promote public awareness in order to build an environmentally friendly society.

With the increase of GNP, the public demand for a safe and healthy environment has increased significantly. The heightened public interest has led to environmental preservation campaigns such as "Save Our Streams" and the "Green Life Movement" by the media. Moreover in 1970, the consumer protection movement started to sensitize consumers regarding damage that can be done by poor quality goods. This movement has now extended its activity to cover the effective usage of goods and the encouragement of the use of recycled goods, which is closely affiliated with environmental and consumption concerns. The Government has taken initiatives on environmental protection movements by increasing public awareness of environmental issues through the sponsoring of events such as the "Water Day" and "Environment Day". The Government has also conducted many programs to inform the general public on environmental issues and to encourage environmentally friendly lifestyles through the distribution of leaflets, brochures, and audiovisual information.

In cooperation with national TV stations, cable TV networks, and local networks, the Government began broadcasting a regular program on environmental issues to promote public awareness of the global environment, and encouraged government public relations work, private business advertisements, and other media campaigns to incorporate the environmental agenda.

For the Environmental Officials Training Institute and the Association for Environment Conservation, the Government established an effective educational and training system for government employees and technical experts working on environmental issue. Therefore, the Government is assisting private sectors and NGOs in operating various environmental education programs to enhance public awareness of citizens on environment and development.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies  

No information is available.

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

No information is available.

 

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This information is based on The Republic of Korea's submission to the 5th & 6th Sessions of the Commission for Sustainable Development, April 1997 & April 1998. Last update: 20 April 1998.

Click here for information on the Republic of Korea's Ministry of Environment
Click here for information on the Republic of Korea's Ministry of Education

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HUMAN SETTLEMENTS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies   

The Ministry of Construction and Transportation is responsible for the designation of development-restricted areas. Inter-ministerial reviews and consultation processes are ensured by the law. The Ministry of Environment is responsible for environment-related policies and programs including water and air quality management, waste management, and water supply and sewage treatment. Local authorities are the bodies mainly involved with urban and provincial programs in the areas under their jurisdiction. The National Comprehensive Construction Planning Board has decided to establish adequate comprehensive national development plans and to manage sustained policies optimizing housing supplies, promoting effective land use, improving basic environmental protection facilities, expanding transportation networks, and developing water resources. About 20 non-government members participate in the National Comprehensive Construction Planning Board. NGOs play an important role in raising public awareness on the negative effects of traffic on the environment.

Decision Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The promotion of a human settlement development plan is to improve the quality of socioeconomic and environmental situations. Since 1988, the Government has implemented the Two Million Housing Construction Plan. Although increasing supplies have significantly eased housing shortage problems, the problem persists, especially in highly populated urban areas. The widening gap in the income level, disparity of living conditions in different regions, and sudden increases in housing prices and rent have caused increasing financial burdens on non-homeowners. Because of the continuing trend towards a nuclear family unit and increasing population, a rational plan applicable to wide areas was required to meet the increased demands for housing. The Government responding to such demand has adopted diverse plans and policies to optimize housing supplies. These plans include the Third Comprehensive National Development Plan in 1991 and the New-Five Year Economic Development Plan in 1993. The housing construction budget continues to make up 6 percent of the total GNP (1995, 2.1 billion US dollars). Furthermore, the promotion of stable human settlement development is being implemented through various regional plans, farming and fishing village settlement plans, and remote land development plans. Efforts to improve basic living conditions, such as in housing, transportation, and environment center around resolving housing shortages, improving housing conditions, alleviating traffic congestion in cities, and maintaining a clean environment.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement

No information is available.

Programmes and Projects

No information is available. 

Status 

The Republic of Korea encourages resource saving and environmentally-friendly land development plans, and promotes development policies that balance development and preservation. In order to create pleasant living conditions and to improve the quality of life, The Republic of Korea is constructing energy conserving and environmentally sound traffic systems, such as a well-networked subway system, exclusive bicycle roads, rotaries and beltways, and radial and circular transportation networks between metropolitan areas and their outskirts. In 1994, a bus-only lane system (designated by a blue line), which makes travelling by bus much faster during the rush hour, was introduced to some of the main roads in big cities to encourage the public to use buses. The local authorities plan to expand this system. In addition, the was enacted to promote the use of bicycles to alleviate urban traffic problems. This law includes provisions related to expanding the designation and construction of bicycle only lanes, and facilitating the use of land owned by the central and local governments for bicycle keeping facilities.

Economic instruments, such as congestion fees on cars entering designated areas, high parking fees in public parking lots which have previously been open to the public without charge, and a heavy tax for households possessing more than one car, are major programs which have already been implemented. Moreover, comprehensive plans are underway to link traffic management with urban planning. For example, the development of multi-centered cities will disperse the concentration of traffic throughout the area. Instead of having people flocking to one area for work, school and/or for recreational purposes, financial and shopping district, schools, and etc. will be dispersed throughout the city and into the suburbs to alleviate human traffic as well as car traffic. In addition, the construction of the self-sufficient cities outside of Seoul will allow people to work and live in the cities without commuting to Seoul for their livelihood.

Challenges

No information is available.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising  

No information is available.

Information

No information is available.

Research and Technologies  

The Republic of Korea is developing waste recycling systems and environmentally safe waste disposal systems. In order to supply high quality water, the central Government and local authorities are expanding wide area water supply systems, tap water conserving facilities, and drainage and sewage systems. The Republic of Korea is also promoting recycling and safe waste treatment by introducing the Volume Based Collection Fee System and constructing sanitary landfill facilities in both metropolitan and provincial areas.

Financing

No information is available.

Cooperation

To promote environmentally-friendly city development plans and to encourage implementation of sustainable development plans in building new cities, The Republic of Korea will seek technical and financial support for planning and developing new cities from various international institutions, including the Sustainable Cities Program of Habitat II, the Regional Development Bank, and the World Bank.

 

 

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This information is based on The Republic of Korea's submission to the 5th Session of the Republic of Korea, April 1997. Last update: 1 April 1997.

For information related to human settlements and refugees, you may access the UNHCR Country Index by clicking here:

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