The South Korean government wants prosecutors to look into the enslavement and mistreatment of thousands of people at a vagrants' facility in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Justice Ministry said Tuesday it recommended that the Supreme Prosecutors' Office conduct a preliminary investigation into abuses at the now-closed Brothers Home and 11 other cases of alleged wrongdoing dating back to the 1980s.

Military dictators in the 1960s to 1980s ordered roundups to "purify" the streets, sending the homeless, disabled and children to facilities where they were detained and forced to work.

The Brothers Home in Busan was the biggest of the facilities.

No one has been held accountable for hundreds of deaths, rapes and beatings at the Brothers Home that were documented by an Associated Press report in 2016.