China’s One-Child Policy: Should It Be Abolished?
After the People’s Republic of China had been founded in 1949, the improved sanitation and medicine promoted rapid population growth. Before long, the population boom started to take a major toll on the country’s food supply. Officials launched a campaign to promote birth control in 1955 in order to deal with the overpopulation. Their efforts were reversed though, in 1958 by the Great Leap Forward, which was Mao Zedong’s attempt to rapidly convert China into what he thought would be a modern industrialized state. By 1962, there was a massive famine in China that caused about 30 million deaths. During the aftermath of the famine, officials tried multiple times, with several different campaigns, to reduce the population. One of these campaigns was successful, using the slogan “Late, Long and Few.” China’s population growth fell by half from 1970 to 1976. The population growth then proceeded to level off, causing officials to seek more drastic measures to reduce population growth. This resulted in what is now known as China’s One Child Policy, which was introduced in 1979 (“Brief History”).
The One Child Policy restricts urban couples from having more than one child. There are exceptions for rural families and ethnic minorities, officially anyway. There are many problems with the policy and it has been implicated in forced abortions and female infanticide. One of the biggest problems with the policy is that it is a violation to every person’s human rights. It violates not only a person’s right to privacy of information and their body and it also violates the basic human right to choose the size of one’s own family. The gender imbalance is another big problem with the policy and it is leaving many men without the option to get married and is affecting the crime rate in a negative way. There is also the relatively smaller issue of having an entire generation of only children and the possible social issues that that can cause. Another big problem is that there is an age disparity between the young and the old that is beginning to and will continue to have an impact on the economy of China. A big argument against the policy is also that it was never needed in the first place. The One Child Policy in China needs to be abolished. China’s One-Child Policy violates a human right to determine the size of one’s own family. No family should be forced to only have one child by any government, and that is exactly what the Chinese government is doing to their citizens. Chinese officials have said before that the one-child policy is optional. The catch is that the violators of the policy will be fined. For example, in an article by Debra Cassens Weiss, who holds a J.D. from DePaul University College of Law and a B.A. in English from the University of Illinois, she talks about Yang Zhitzhu, a law professor at China Youth University for Political Sciences, who was charged a $37,000 “social upbringing fee” in 2009 for violating the one-child policy. He also lost his job and, as a protest, put himself up for sale, vowing to serve his master until death, for $100,000. Also, because he did not pay the fee, his second daughter will not be granted household registration papers that would entitle her to a public education and healthcare. So, not only does the father get fined and lose his job because he decided to have a second child, his daughter now also has to suffer. Why should the daughter be punished for something the father did, when she did nothing to deserve the punishment? No person should be punished for being born. Executive director, Harry Wu, of the Laogi Research Foundation, which is an organization that collects information about forced labor camps and other human rights violations in China, wrote an article talking about Gao Xiao Duan and her testimony about the one-child policy in front of the House of Representatives Subcommittee on...
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