The NHRC Criticizes the Ministry of Health and Welfare for Discriminating against Graduates of Cyber Colleges (07-18-2002)
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) decided on 28 November 2001, in regards to a petition submitted by the student president of the World Cyber University, that blocking the graduates of the cyber college from acquiring license as social welfare worker is against the rights for equality. The NHRC also sent a letter recommending the Minister of Health and Welfare to revise the related laws. This is the first complaint against one of government ministries.
Jae-gu Park (age 40, a student president of the World Cyber University) filed a petition to the NHRC in November 2002, arguing that, "whereas all graduates who majored in social welfare at a 4-year university are allowed to acquire a license for social welfare work, in regards to a 2-year program, only those who attended 2-year colleges are allowed to acquire the license-whereby excluding those who graduated from cyber colleges." Park argued that this is, "a violation of equality by the government."
However, the Ministry of Health and Welfare argued that since the Enforcement Decree of the Social Welfare Service Act (the Enforcement Decree) states that only those who, "attended colleges under the Higher Education Act" can acquire the license, and because if the graduates of cyber colleges were allowed to acquire the license the number of those with a license would increase beyond government control, the measure does not violate the principle of equality.
The NHRC has found that the Social Welfare Service Law intends to provide for a standard in the selection of the social welfare workers and thus if anyone is deemed qualified- following that individual"s knowledge and technical proficiency- such individuals should be allowed to acquire the license and, the governmental control of the number of those with the license should be dealt by other measures, but not by disallowing individuals from acquiring the license.
Furthermore, the Enforcement Decree has been revised in 1998, 1999, and in 2000, and thus the argument that the revision is a formidable task also does not seem acceptable by the NHRC. Thus the NHRC recommended that the related the enforcement decree be revised by 31 December of 2002.