It marked the first-ever imposition of an exit ban for delinquency of child support obligations, after a relevant law was revised in July to strengthen measures in such cases.
Under the revised law, the travel ban is applied to those who owe more than 50 million won ($41,700) in child support, and those who owe more than 30 million won and have also traveled abroad more than three times in the preceding year.
The ministry said the two men, identified only by their surnames Kim and Hong, failed to pay 117.2 million won and 125.6 million won, respectively, in child support.
On Sept. 9, their respective ex-spouses demanded the imposition of the overseas travel bans. The ministry gave both 10 days to provide an explanation, which they failed to do.
"We requested the Ministry of Justice to impose the ban for the two men on Oct. 6," a gender equality ministry official said.
The revised law calls on the government to impose the travel ban for parents who fail to fulfil child support payment obligations and disclose their name, age, occupation and address on the ministry's website, if they continue withholding child support payments.
The ministry will give the two men further opportunity to offer an explanation until mid-December before deciding to disclose their identities.
"Once the decision is made, their names, ages, occupations and addresses will be disclosed on the ministry's website for three years from Dec. 31," the official said.
The government has been enhancing measures consistently against those who fail to pay child support, which appears to have contributed to an increase in payment rates.
The figure stood only at 21.2 percent in 2015, but increased to 36.8 percent as of November 2020.
The ministry said there is a need to simplify requirements for the imposition of the travel ban in a bid to increase the effectiveness of the policy.
source: The Korea Times