Time to start making babies, South Korea urges its people

Evan Bartlett@ev_bartlett
Saturday 27 August 2016 13:40
news

Faced with an ageing population and one of the world's lowest birth rates, the South Korean government is urging its citizens to make more babies.

Among the "emergency measures" to enthuse its populace into starting, or growing, their family are financial support for couples seeking fertility treatment and extra paternity leave for parents welcoming a second child.

The Korea Herald reports that the measure were announced by the ministry of health and welfare following a 5.3 per cent drop in new born babies in the first five months of the year compared to the same time in 2015.

Health minister Chung Chin-youb said:

The government prepared such emergency measures with a desperate mind that we must exert all possible efforts to block the current low birth rate that continues to decline

But these still fall short of transforming the sense of defeat felt by youths into a sense of hope, or to console the working mums who shed tears during our policy debate.

The BBC reports that South Korea's birth rate has plummeted since the 1960s despite billions of pounds worth of government spending.

The government will spend up to £44m on the new measures, according to the Korea Times, although there are fears that state policy will not be able to over power a corporate culture seen as "family-unfriendly".

More: South Korea's suicide rate has been the highest in the developed world for over a decade

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