Saving children’s lives with a ‘yellow carpet’

One in three Koreans feel that their society is not safe. ChildFund Korea is doing its part to improve safety for school children in the country through the ‘Yellow Carpet’ initiative.

A girl and a boy student in school uniform stand on a painted yellow triangle that shows drivers where the crosswalk is so the children can cross the road safely. There is a red "don't walk" sign above them. There is a mural of a castle and a rainbow behind them. Students waiting to cross the street stand on a 'yellow carpet.'

Public interest in safety in South Korea has been growing since April 2014, when a ferry boat heading to Jeju Island sank. More than 300 people, most of whom were students on a high-school trip, died.

  • 33% of Koreans feel that their society is not safe.
  • 44% of child deaths in Korea are due to traffic accidents.
  • 50% of child traffic deaths occur when children are crossing the street in crosswalks.
  • 89.3% of accidents in school zones happen when children are in crosswalks.

ChildFund Korea is doing its part to improve safety in the country through the ‘Yellow Carpet’ initiative.

yellow carpet CFKorea web 2A child- and community-led initiative to improve road safety

In 2015, parents and children in a community in Korea identified ‘blind spots’ where drivers often didn’t notice children waiting to cross the street at the crosswalk. After long discussions, they designed the ‘Yellow Carpet’ so that drivers would easily see children in these blind spots. The blind spot areas are painted bright yellow, and children stand inside the yellow areas as they wait to cross the street.

The initiative began through a partnership between the community and the International Child Rights Center based in Seoul. Now ChildFund Korea is working with the International Child Rights Center to expand the Yellow Carpet initiative throughout the country.

yellow carpet CFKorea web 3

There are now almost 700 Yellow Carpets nationwide

The purpose of the ‘Yellow Carpet’ project is not only to provide safer road conditions for children. It also gives children an opportunity for ongoing participation in their communities.

The 2030 Agenda (the Sustainable Development Goals) presents a vision for children as agents of change. Our success in achieving the SDGs depends on our ability to realize this vision. ChildFund will continue to work with children and their communities to make this happen. 

ChildFund Korea

ChildFund Korea is one of the most influential international nongovernmental organizations in the Republic of Korea working for the rights of children. Founded in 1948, ChildFund Korea is celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2018.