Wednesday, March 26, 2008

One Child Policy to Continue

There has been speculation recently about whether China's family planning policy (commonly known as the One Child Policy) would change or continue. Earlier this month, China's Family Planning Minister announced that the policy would continue for at least another ten years.

While the policy is commonly deemed successful in curbing population growth, there have been massive social, economic, environmental, ethical and other implications and consequences as a result of this policy, directly and indirectly, including

  • child abandonment, especially girls
  • female gendercide
  • child trafficking
  • wife trafficking
  • forced abortions / forced sterilisation
  • gender imbalance
  • 4/2/1 dependency ratio
  • declining birth rate, hence declining population replacement rate
  • aging population
  • little emperor syndrome
  • hugely disproportionate number of marriageable age males without female counterparts
    (this list is just a quick brain-dump and is by no means exhaustive)

The One Child Policy is not a blanket policy imposed on all families. In fact, the current birth rate in China sits at around 1.8 children per family (not down to 1 per family but certainly a shift from the average of 7.5 children per family in 1963). Here is some information about the policy:
  • families are allowed to have two children if the first born is a girl or is disabled (resulting in second and third born females being abandoned)
  • rural families are permitted to have two children
  • if the mother and father are only children themselves, they are allowed two children
  • the policy is enforced in different ways in different provinces
  • ethnic minorities (the 55 different Chinese ethnic groups, ie. non-Han Chinese) may have two and sometimes three children
  • breaching the policy can result in fines, withdrawal of family allowance, demotion or discharge from jobs, social rejection

I wonder what the Chinese would think of the policies of my nation's Government; we are paid to have children and encouraged to have larger families in an attempt to increase the fertility rate.

Similar/related earlier posts: The right to live, Family planning slogans, Population stuff.


Anonymous said...


Gem & James said...

Hi you, ohh I hope you hear some good news on your file going soon, I bet you are distracted with anticipation.

I watched a documentary the other day, "China's lost girls" it is a National Geographic one, really intersting and talks about the one child policy, and problems they expect in 20 years time, such as even internal wars as too many men and not enough women, so tensions caused. If you havent seen it you should try and get a hold of it.


OziMum said...

LOL! I think China, already thinks we're weirdos!!!

I've got the Nat Geo. DVD - If you want to have a look, I can post it up to you? You'll need a "cheap" dvd player to play it on though! It wouldn't play on our Panasonic, only on our cheap-a$$ one, coz its set up to play dvds from all over the world. I bought the DVD from Amazon.

Emma said...

Hey Gem and Ozimum, thanks for the offer - we also own China's Lost Girls. It doesn't matter how many times I watch it, I still cry.

Monica said...

Wow, that is pretty cool that the Australian goverment gives its citizens a Baby Bonus of a one-off payment of $4,258 for each child!