Calls to ban China's ‘one child' policy

2013-11-18 14:28
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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Beijing - China's plan to relax its "one child" family planning policy fuelled calls on Monday for the ruling Communist Party to abolish the controversial and unpopular policy.

The party said it will allow couples to have two children if one of the parents is an only child.

That change that could benefit an estimated 10 million Chinese couples, mostly in urban areas, Liang Zhongtang, a demographer from the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told dpa.

Two-thirds of some 28 000 people who said they were now eligible for a second child planned to exercise their right, according to an online survey by the popular website on Monday.

But government experts said the change in the policy, in force for more than 30 years, will have negligible effect on China's population.

The party decided to loosen it partly because the one-child rule has left some areas with labour shortages and created severe gender imbalances.

The change is also a response to the rapid ageing of China's population of 1.35 billion people.

It follows years of criticism of the policy for encouraging severe human rights abuses including forced sterilisation and late-term abortions.

Liang and other experts, plus international rights groups, argue that the only way to end the abuses by local family planning officials is to abolish the one-child policy

"It's not about whether single-child families want to have a second birth," said Liang, a former government adviser on family planning.

"The control of reproduction itself violates human rights and conflicts with the notion of a modern country," he said. "We need to solve that fundamental problem."

Read more on:    sina weibo  |  china  |  human rights

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