South Korean police will launch an obligatory nationwide hunt for 13 primary and middle school students who have been absent since a new semester began in March to see if they are the victims of child abuse.
Education authorities found that a total of 76 students failed to attend school without proper explanations. On their report, police confirmed the safety of 63 students but could not locate the remaining 13.
The child protection law which took effective in March this year authorizes teachers to press parents to send children to schools when they are away without notice for more than two days. If children are not sent, their absence should be reported to law enforcers and education authorities.
The law was prompted by a series of high-profile child abuse cases, including the death of Shin Won-young, a seven-year-old boy who was found dead after being locked up for three months in a cold bathroom. The boy was starved to death in February 2016 and buried in a mountain, sparking widespread public anger. Shin's stepmother received a 27-year jail sentence and his real father was sentenced to 17 years in prison.
Park Sae-jin = firstname.lastname@example.org