Health and Welfare Policy Forum

Foreword (March 2024, Health and Welfare Policy Forum)

  • Author

    Lee, Sang Jung

  • Page


  • PubDate

    2024. 03.

  • Language


Older adults, children, and individuals with disabilities in Korea who could neither care for themselves nor be cared for within their families―for reasons such as family poverty, aging or disability in family members, or family breakups or conflicts―have in general been put under the protection of institutional care. Of late, however, with facility-based care criticized as against human rights, demands have been increasingly voiced for community-led care provision. Consequently, policy measures have been implemented to promote deinstitutionalization and integrated community care for older adults, children, and people with disabilities. However, as reliance on facility-based care remains significantly high, continued efforts are needed to further deinstitutionalize care and expand community-led care on the one hand and, on the other, to monitor and enhance the living conditions of older adults, children, and disabled people who live in residential facilities.
Older adults, children, and people with disabilities residing in residential facilities have been seen until now as objects of protection, with their human rights brought to public discussion and attention, but by and large as rights to protection, the right to food, clothing, and shelter, and to safety. However, living though they do under protection while in residential facilities, they have the right to live a life of freedom as subjects of their own lives. Enabling them to live as such requires the guarantee of their right to self-determination. These individuals must be given options and the right to make choices of their own accord across all the domains of their lives, including choices having to do with entry into and exit from residential care and with, as facility residents, whether or not to take part in certain programs and services.
In this issue of the Health and Welfare Forum we explore the current state of the safeguarding of the right to self-determination in residential care settings for older adults, children, and disabled people and discuss policy options for improvement in both policy and practice.


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    Health and Welfare News in Brief

    Ministry of Health and Welfare