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Acting president pledges comprehensive measures to protect socially disadvantaged

All Headlines 10:38 February 03, 2017

SEOUL, Feb. 3 (Yonhap) -- A drunk passenger spitting on and swearing at flight attendants, an apartment resident beating an old janitor and department store clerks assaulted by well-heeled clients -- these cases of abuse have sent shockwaves across the country over the past year.

Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn on Friday pledged to push for "comprehensive pan-government" measures to protect the socially disadvantaged, stressing such cases undermine the basic values of liberal democracy, human dignity and social cohesion.

"As such improper acts by those exploiting their status against the socially and economically vulnerable have had serious negative ramifications on the entirety of our economy and society, we have to definitely root them out," Hwang said during a meeting of ministers on the protection of the socially disadvantaged.

Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn speaks during a meeting of ministers on the protection of the socially disadvantaged at the central government complex in Seoul on Feb. 3, 2017. (Yonhap)

"Such acts have posed a stumbling block to our efforts for social integration as they have weakened trust among the members of our society," he added.

Hwang vowed to strengthen the existing institutions to protect the socially vulnerable through various measures such as enhancing rules to protect workers on the receiving end of verbal abuse and toughening punishments for those refusing to pay overdue wages to their workers.

The acting president also said the government will seek to enhance social awareness about the recurring cases of abuse through education and publicity efforts.

"We will continuously conduct a national campaign to pursue a fair and transparent society and warm community that cares for the socially disadvantaged," he said.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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