A teen walks past a sign regarding COVID-19 pass rules in front of a public library. (Photo: Yonhap)
Civic groups have filed a petition against the government's plan to expand the COVID-19 vaccine pass program to teenagers.
Three Seoul-based organizations, including a parents group, filed the joint petition with the National Human Rights Commission of Korea on Wednesday to block the move, which they view as a mandate that infringes on the learning rights of students.
They also believe it essentially violates students' freedom to choose not to be vaccinated.
Meanwhile, many parents remain hesitant about signing their kids up for shots due to worries about potential side effects.
Starting February 1, adolescents aged 12 to 18 will be required to show proof of vaccination to enter multiuse facilities, including study rooms and cram schools.
The government says the measure will help protect public safety amid a massive surge in new infections.
Education Minister Yoo Eun-hae asked parents on Monday to get their kids vaccinated if eligible, saying that 99 percent of children infected with the coronavirus in the last two weeks were unvaccinated.