Friday, June 22, 2007

The One Child Policy

Twenty-seven years ago, the Chinese government developed the one-child policy in an attempt to curb population growth. Fines (including seizure of property) and work demotions are the "traditional" punishments for having more than one child.

Although abortions and sterilizations are illegal, they are widespread practices, not just at the request of women either. Late-term abortions, even at nine months, were reportedly forced on women who were either unmarried or married and carried a second child.

And objecting to the policy results in jail time. Chen Guangcheng, an activist against this policy, has been jailed and beaten, according to Amnesty International, both by jailers and his fellow prisoners. Yes, jailed for objecting to human rights violations.

This is not uncommon.