China One Child Policy Essay

8201 words - 33 pages

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China's One-Child Policy: an Infringement
of Human Rights
Extended Essay: Human Rights
School: Seoul Foreign School
Candidate Code: 000166-XXX
May 2012
Word Count: 3,835

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On January 1st 1979, the Chinese communist government implemented a policy
of birth-control. This is referred to as the 'One-Child Policy' which limits each couple to
having just one child. The policy aimed at modernizing China by promoting social
reconstruction and economic prosperity. However it also implies and results in a sacrifice of
rights for the Chinese population who no longer have the freedom of choice regarding their
family planning.
This paper attempts to analyze and evaluate the question "To what extent can
China's one-child policy be seen as an infringement of human rights, and how can it be
justified?". This is done by considering both the cultural relativist theory and the Universalist
approach regarding the implementation of Human rights to understand the different
interpretations. Furthermore, and most importantly, focus is placed on the foundation and
execution of the policy, in regards to emphasize the notion that the right to family, life,
security and liberty is denied as a result of the policy. Although the Chinese government
claims that the policy is merely an advocated guideline which has gained mass support, the
reality is that consequences of not complying to the policy results in punishments such as
forced sterilization and abortions, or overwhelming fines. In addition, the consequences of the
policy are discussed including the inequality of the gender ratio, along with the development
of a hidden population, as these aspects trigger further infringements upon human rights.
Although the policy may be justified through an economic and political aspect,
it is a clear infringement of human rights and cannot be justified through a human rights
perspective, hence is a violation against the rights of millions of Chinese citizens.
Word Count: 278

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Table of Contents
Title Page 1
Abstract 2
Table of Contents 3
Introduction 4
Universalist Approach versus Cultural Relativism 5
The Notion of Having a Choice and Its Consequences
I. Rewards and Punishments 6
II. Notion of Choice as Unobtainable 7
III. A hidden Generation 8
IV. The Right to Life, Liberty and Security of Person 9
Exceptions to the One-Child Policy 10
Financial Incentives and Propaganda 10
China's claim of recognizing the freedom of family planning 11
Reality of the Policy
I. Forced Sterilization and Forced Abortion 12
II. The Truth Behind the Euphemisms 14
Conclusion 14
Works Cited 16
Appendix I: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights 19
Appendix II: Testimony for Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Hearing 23

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China first implemented its 'One-Child Policy' on January 1st 1979. This
evidently meant limiting every couple to having just one child (Population and Family
Planning Law of the...

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