Local officials aim to sterilize 9559 people by 26 April, some against their will, in a drive to meet family planning targets in Puning City, Guangdong Province, southern China.
According to reports in the Chinese media, on April 7th, the local authorities in Puning City began a special campaign to sterilize people who already have at least one child, to ensure that local birth control quotas are met. The local authorities claim that by the end of April 11, the 20-day campaign had already met 50 per cent of its target. A local doctor, quoted in the Chinese media, said that his team was working from 8am until 4am the next day performing surgeries for sterilization. Local reports suggest at least some people are not freely consenting to being sterilized. Amnesty International considers forced sterilizations carried out by officials to amount to torture and the haste of the procedures raises questions about their safety and possible health impacts.
In addition, the Puning City authorities have detained 1377 family members of couples targeted for sterilization. Most of the detained are elderly and some are held in cramped conditions in houses which the local authorities are using temporarily as unofficial places of detention. This is widely seen to be a mechanism to pressure their relatives to undergo sterilizations.
The Puning City local authorities have defended the campaign saying that there are large numbers of migrant workers who are of childbearing age in the area and that some of the residents have misunderstood and hence not complied with the family planning regulations.
Some Background on the Issue:
At the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, governments agreed that:
- All couples and individuals have the right to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so, and the right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health. This includes their right to make decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence, as expressed in human rights documents.
- The aim of family-planning programs must be to enable couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children and to have the information and means to do so and to ensure informed choices and make available a full range of safe and effective methods. The principle of informed free choice is essential to the long-term success of family-planning programs. Any form of coercion has no part to play. Governmental goals for family planning should be defined in terms of unmet needs for information and services. Demographic goals, while legitimately the subject of government development strategies, should not be imposed on family-planning providers in the form of targets or quotas for the recruitment of clients.
Email me if you’d be interested in sending an appeal : firstname.lastname@example.org
OR if you know how Urgent Action works send your appeals to :
Chairman of the Puning City Population and Family Bureau
Hong Yuliang Zhuren
PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
Fax: 011 86 663 2900055
Salutation: Dear Chairman
Puning City Mayor
Chen Shengliang Shizhang
Puningshi Zhengfu Bangongdalou Nanqu
PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
Fax: 011 86 663 2246909
Salutation: Dear Mayor
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