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韩国想提高出生率,“儿童禁入区”也许是个阻碍

South Korea Wants More Babies, Just Not in These Places
韩国想提高出生率,“儿童禁入区”也许是个阻碍

SEOUL — South Korea has the lowest birthrate in the world, but parents say the government isn’t making it any easier for them to have children when hundreds of public facilities across the country are designated “no-kids zones.”

首尔——韩国是世界上出生率最低的国家,但家长们表示,全国数百个公共设施被指定为“儿童禁入区”,只能让生养儿女变得更加困难。

Earlier this month, a lawmaker took her toddler to the National Assembly and called on the government to outlaw the policy, which allows restaurants, museums, cafes and other establishments to ban children from entering.

本月早些时候,一位立法者带着她学步期的孩子来到国会,呼吁政府取缔这项允许餐馆、博物馆、咖啡馆和其他场所禁止儿童进入的政策。
 

首尔一家咖啡馆门口的禁止儿童入内标志。儿童禁入区政策的支持者表示,这有助于防止事故和财产损失以及幼儿受伤。

In her address, Yong Hye-in, a representative of the Basic Income Party, said it was becoming more difficult to raise a family in cities that prohibit children from certain areas. Getting rid of no-kids zones and creating a society more accepting of children would help the country overcome its low birthrate, she said.

基本所得党代表龙慧仁在讲话中表示,当城市的某些地方禁止儿童进入,在这些城市抚养家庭变得越来越困难。她说,取缔儿童禁入区并建立一个更能接纳儿童的社会将有助于该国克服低出生率问题。

“Life with a child isn’t easy,” said Ms. Yong while holding her son at the National Assembly. “But still, we have to recreate a society in which we can coexist with our children.”

“带孩子生活不容易,”龙慧仁在国会抱着儿子说。“但是,我们仍然必须创造一个我们可以与孩子共存的社会。”

Last year, South Korea had a birthrate of 0.78, according to government figures. Many young couples in the country are choosing to not have children because of the rising costs of child care and housing, job scarcity and growing anxiety about the future. For years, the government has offered incentives like monthly subsidies worth hundreds of dollars to families with children but has failed to adequately address the demographic crisis.

根据政府数据,去年韩国的出生率为0.78。由于儿童保育和住房成本上涨、工作稀缺以及对未来日益增长的焦虑,该国许多年轻夫妇选择不要孩子。多年来,政府一直向有孩子的家庭提供激励措施,如每月价值数百美元的补贴,但未能妥善解决人口危机。

There are hundreds of no-kids zones throughout South Korea. The National Library of Korea, for example, prohibits anyone under the age of 16 from entering without special permission. (Recently, some places have also tried to ban seniors, triggering a debate online.)

韩国各地有成百上千个儿童禁入区。例如,韩国国家图书馆禁止任何16岁以下人士进入,除非有特别许可。(最近,一些地方也试图禁止老年人入内,在网上引发热议。)

This is the second time Ms. Yong has appeared at the National Assembly with her child. In the summer of 2021, she came with her son when he was only a few weeks old. The National Assembly prohibits anyone other than assembly members and authorized personnel from entering, and is itself considered a no-kids zone.

这是龙慧仁第二次带着孩子出现在国会。2021年夏天,她带着只有几周大的儿子前往。国会禁止除议员和授权人员以外的任何人进入,它本身被认为是一个儿童禁入区。

Ms. Yong introduced the “National Assembly Chamber Child Companion Law” in 2021, calling for infants under 24 months old to be allowed to enter the legislature’s main floor. The bill has yet to pass.

龙慧仁在2021年提议《国会议事堂儿童陪伴法》,呼吁允许24个月以下的婴儿进入立法机关的主楼。该法案尚未通过。

The debate around where children should and shouldn’t be allowed has been ongoing for years, and not just in South Korea. Angry travelers have often asked why airlines don’t introduce seating areas designated for families with small children.

关于什么样的地方应该或不应该允许儿童进入的争论已经持续了多年,而且不仅仅是在韩国。愤怒的旅客经常会问,为什么航空公司不为有小孩的家庭设置专门的座位区。

Several countries, including Australia and the United States, allow children to enter government buildings. Infants were first allowed onto the Senate floor in Washington after Senator Tammy Duckworth, whose presence was needed to confirm a new NASA administrator, gave birth to a daughter less than two weeks before the vote in 2018.

包括澳大利亚和美国在内的几个国家允许儿童进入政府大楼。华盛顿的参议院首次允许婴儿进入是在2018年,当时必须出席确认新任NASA局长人选的参议员塔米·达克沃斯在距离投票还有不到两周的时候生下了一个女儿。

Stella Creasy, a member of the British Parliament, was chastised in 2021 for bringing her baby to Westminster Hall in London.

英国议员斯特拉·克里西于2021年因将她的孩子带到伦敦的威斯敏斯特议事厅而受到责备。

Ms. Yong was born in 1990 in Bucheon, a city on the outskirts of Seoul, and became a lawmaker in 2020. In addition to getting rid of no-kids zones, she is also planning to introduce legislation that would allow children and their families to avoid lines at places like museums and amusement parks.

龙慧仁于1990年出生于首尔郊外的富川市,2020年成为议员。除了取消儿童禁入区外,她还计划提出法案,允许儿童及其家人在博物馆和游乐园等地方免于排队。

There are almost 3.5 million children under the age of 10 in South Korea, and over 11,000 public facilities designed for children’s play, according to government statistics.

据政府统计,韩国有近350万10岁以下的儿童,以及超过1.1万个专为儿童玩耍而设计的公共设施。

Public opinion on child-free zones suggests that most South Koreans support them. A 2022 survey by Hankook Research, a polling company based in Seoul, showed that 73 percent of respondents were in favor of no-kids zones while only 18 percent were against them. (Another 9 percent of respondents were undecided).

舆论表明大多数韩国人支持儿童禁入区。位于首尔的民意调查公司韩泰研究(Hankook Research)2022年的一项调查显示,73%的受访者支持设立儿童禁入区,只有18%的人反对。(另有9%的受访者拿不定主意)。

Supporters of the policy say that children can be a disturbance to customers. “I usually go to cafes to study, I don’t want to be interrupted by crying kids,” Lee Chan-hee, an engineering student in Seoul who frequents a cafe that prohibits children, said in an interview this week.

该政策的支持者表示,儿童可能会打扰到顾客。首尔的工科学生李灿熙(音)经常光顾一家禁止儿童入内的咖啡馆,他本周在接受采访时说:“我通常去咖啡馆学习,我不想被哭闹的孩子打扰。”

Other reasons for supporting the zones include the prevention of accidents and property damage as well as injuries to young children. Protecting the rights of small business owners was also a consideration.

支持这些专区的其他原因包括预防事故与财产损失,以及防止幼儿受伤。保护小企业主的权利也是一个考虑因素。

But the tide may be changing.

但风向可能正在改变。

The push to get rid of no-kids zones gained momentum last week when the health and welfare safety committee on Jeju Island — a popular tourist destination off the southern tip of the Korean Peninsula — deliberated an ordinance that would abolish no-kids zones island wide.

取消儿童禁入区的运动上周取得了进展。朝鲜半岛南端的热门旅游胜地济州岛的健康和福利安全委员会审议了一项废除全岛范围内儿童禁入区的法令。

Lawmakers on the island will hold a session later this month to decide whether or not to pass the bill. If it passes, it will be the first law of its kind in South Korea.

济州岛上的立法者将于本月晚些时候举行会议,决定是否通过该法案。如果通过,这将是韩国首例此类法律。
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