WRWF Releases 2014 Complaint to the United Nations against China for Forced Abortion and other Human Rights Atrocities Associated with the One Child Policy

August 1, 2014

VIA EMAIL AND U.S. MAIL cp-csw@unwomen.org

United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW)
CSW Communications Procedure
Human Rights Section
UN Women
220 East 42nd Street, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10017

Re: Complaint Concerning Coercive Population Control in China

To the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW):

I am the founder and president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, a non-profit, non-partisan international coalition to combat forced abortion, gendercide and sexual slavery in China. I write to complain about coercive family planning in China.

As you know, WRWF has submitted Complaints for the past three years. While the UNCSW acknowledged receipt of these Complaints, China has never responded to them. We believe that, given the international outrage generated by forced abortion and gendercide in China, it behooves China to respond to our official Complaints.

UNCSW’s “Agreed Conclusions” Condemn Coercive Family Planning But Should Also Condemn Gendercide, The Sex-Selective Abortion or Abandonment of Baby Girls

The UNCSW’s topic for 2013 was “Elimination and Prevention of All Forms of Violence Against Women and Girls.” There is no greater violence against women than forced abortion, up to the ninth month of pregnancy. Women themselves sometimes die as a result of these violent procedures. There is no greater violence against girls than gendercide, which has claimed up to 200 million lives of girls selected for abortion solely because they are girls.

Women’s Rights Without Frontiers was honored to make four presentations about forced abortion and gendercide in China at the UNCSW in March of last year.  We commend the following language from 2013’s “Agreed Conclusions”:

34. The Commission urges government, at all levels, and as appropriate, with the relevant entities of the United Nations system, international and regional organizations . . . to take the following actions:

. . . .

(aaa) Condemn and take action to prevent violence against women and girls in health-care settings, including . . . forced medical procedures, or those conducted without informed consent, and which may be irreversible, such as forced hysterectomy, forced caesarean section, forced sterilization, forced abortion, and forced use of contraceptives . . .[1]

These Agreed Conclusions represent an acknowledgement that forced medical procedures are a form of violence against women and call for an international condemnation of such procedures. WRWF feels that the voices of hundreds of millions of suffering Chinese women and girls were heard by the UNCSW, and for this we are grateful.

The Chinese government, moreover, is the major perpetrator in the world of “forced medical procedures” of the kind set forth in the UNCSW Agreed Conclusions. The UNCSW should put teeth into its Agreed Conclusions by presenting this Complaint to the Chinese government and requiring a response.

At the same time, these Agreed Conclusions are but the first step to end this form of gender violence. While the Agreed Conclusions condemn coercive family planning in the form of forced medical procedures, they take no stand on gendercide, the sex-selective abortion, abandonment and fatal neglect of baby girls. If the UNCSW stands for women’s rights, it must take a stand against the selective abortion of up to 200 million baby girls. Like these twins saved by our “Save a Girl” Campaign, millions of baby girls all over China are at risk of abortion or abandonment, simply because they are girls. “Twin Girls Saved from Abortion in China, Husband’s Family Only Wanted Boys.” http://www.lifenews.com/2014/05/30/twin-girls-saved-from-abortion-in-china-husband-family-told-wife-they-only-wanted-boys/ 5/30/14

WRWF Calls for an Investigation of UNFPA

The UNCSW, moreover, should follow its own advice to “condemn and take action to prevent violence against women . . .” by thoroughly investigating the activities of the UNFPA in China. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell found the UNFPA to be complicit with coercive family planning in China. WRWF believes that any independent investigation of the UNFPA’s current practices would arrive at the same conclusion.

The UNCSW would not be the first to undertake such an investigation. In a striking blow against China’s One Child Policy, the European Parliament passed a resolution strongly condemning forced abortion and involuntary sterilization in China and globally, citing Feng Jianmei, who was forcibly aborted at seven months in June, 2012. Specifically, the resolution, 2012/2712 (RSP) “strongly condemns the decision to force Ms. Feng to have an abortion and condemns the practice of forced abortions and sterilizations globally, especially in the context of the one-child policy.” The resolution further states that “the EU has provided, and still provides, funds for organizations involved in family planning policies in China,” and “urges the Commission to ensure that its funding of projects does not breach” the European Parliament’s commitment against coercive population control.

It is significant that the European Parliament has acknowledged that it provides funding for family planning in China and has urged the Commission to ensure that this funding is not associated with coercion.  For decades, the UNFPA has worked hand in hand with the Chinese population control machine, which is coercive.  We have no doubt that any unbiased investigation by the European Parliament, the United Nations, or any other governmental body will reveal that UNFPA is complicit with coercive family planning in China. The UNCSW should likewise undertake such an investigation.

We have called for an investigation of UNFPA repeatedly in the past. This call has been ignored. The time to investigate UNFPA is now.

The One Child Policy causes more violence against women and girls than any other official policy on earth.

It is China’s war on women.   Any discussion of women’s rights, or human rights, would be a charade if forced abortion in China is not front and center. It does not matter whether you are pro-life or pro-choice on this issue. No one supports forced abortion, because it is not a choice. Here is a video in which former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, strongly condemns coercive family planning in China. http://www.womensrightswithoutfrontiers.org/index.php?nav=hillary_clinton

In the past year there has been much suffering caused by the One Child Policy. We are aware that the cases that make it to the West are just the proverbial tip of the iceberg.  For every family that posts their experience of heartbreak on the internet – and thereby risks persecution by the Chinese Communist Party — there are thousands or millions who suffer silently.  This year, we have seen a tragic rise in murder and suicide associated with the crushing “social compensation fees,” which can cost up to fourteen times a person’s annual salary, an amount the vast majority of Chinese citizens cannot afford. If the parents are unable to pay these “terror fines,” their children will be denied “hukou,” or household registration. Without hukou, children are ineligible for healthcare or education. They become illegal aliens in their own land. “Chinese Mother, fined $54,200 for Flouting One-child Policy, Sues Police.” http://www.voanews.com/content/reu-chinese-mother-fined-54200-one-child-policy-sues/1803992.html 12/5/13

  • Ai Guangdong, a farmer in Hebei Province, killed himself by drinking pesticide during a dispute with family planning officials over fines for his over-quota children. Since the farmer did not have money to pay the fines, family planning officials confiscated 3.5 tons of corn, the entire savings of the family. Ai Guangdong then visited the home of the Party Chief to dispute this action.       Finally the farmer drank pesticide at the home of the Party Chief, and promptly died. “Farmer drinks poison after being fined for violations of family planning policy.” http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/830847.shtml 12/8/13
  • In Xinjiang Province, four Uyghur women were forcibly aborted, one of them at nine months. As ethnic minorities, Uyghurs are supposedly exempt from the One Child Policy. This is not the case. While they may have more than one child, they are nevertheless subject to coercive termination of out-of-plan pregnancies.       “Four Uyghur Women Forced to Abort Their Babies in Zinjiang.” http://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/abortion-12302013050902.html; “Xinjiang authorities try to force six women to abort for violating one-child policy.” http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Xinjiang-authorities-try-to-force-six-women-to-abort-for-violating-one-child-policy-29925.html. 12/30/13
  • An obstetrician in Shaanxi province, Zhang Shuxia, was convicted of trafficking seven infants, after she had convinced their parents that the infants were seriously ill or deceased. She was given a suspended death sentence.       It has been estimated that 70,000 children a year are trafficked in China. The doctor sold boys at a premium, costing more than twice as much as girls. “Obstetrician convicted in Chinese baby-trafficking case.” http://www.wnd.com/2014/01/obstetrician-convicted-in-chinese-baby-trafficking-case/ 1/16/14; “Chinese doctor sentenced to death for selling babies.” http://nypost.com/2014/01/14/chinese-doctor-sentenced-to-death-for-selling-babies/ 1/14/14
  • In Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province, authorities stopped accepting new babies at a “baby hatch,” where parents can anonymously leave their unwanted children in an incubator. Parents overwhelmed the center by leaving 262 babies, many suffering from serious illnesses. China reportedly has 25 baby hatches in 10 provinces. “Chinese Baby Hatch Suspended After Parents Abandon Overwhelming Number of Children.” http://www.christianpost.com/news/chinese-baby-hatch-suspended-after-parents-abandon-overwhelming-number-of-children-116271/ 3/17/14
  • Chinese authorities shut down an internet website where parents could “give” their children to adoptive parents directly in return for a “gratitude fee.” The authorities charged that the site operated without regulation or an intermediary and was connected to trafficking infants. “Chinese parents, trapped in one-child web, give babies away on Internet.” http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/30/us-china-adoptions-idUSBREA2T0L920140330 3/30/14
  • In Guizhou Province, a farmer and father of four committed suicide because he could not afford to pay the fines to enroll his children in school. His wife stated, “He said to me before he cut his wrists, ‘What did we bring them into the world for, to be as dumb as cattle? I cannot see my children grow up uneducated.’” After his death, the authorities provided the family with a new house and money to educate the children. “Chinese father of four commits suicide over one-child policy fines so his children can go to school.” http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/chinese-father-of-four-commits-suicide-over-one-child-policy-fines-so-his-c. 5/26/14

China Has Not ‘Eased’ Coercive Population Control Under it’s One Child Policy

These atrocities continue to this day.

Under the misleading headline, “China to Ease One-Child Policy,” Xinhua News Agency reported that China will now lift the ban on a second child, if either parent is an only child. It is already the case that couples can have a second child if both parents are themselves only children. This minor adjustment will not “ease” the One Child Policy. It will merely tweak it.

Indeed, in apparent response to quell overly optimistic speculation that this small change represents a major reform, Xinhua ran another report soon after the original announcement: “Birth Policy Changes Are No Big Deal.” In this second article Xinhua states that Wang Pei’an, deputy director of the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), told Xinhua that “the number of couples covered by the new policy is not very large across the country.”   “Birth policy changes are no big deal.”   http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2013-11/16/c_132893477.htm. 11/16/13.

The minor modification of the policy that took place on January 1, 2014: 1) will not affect a large percentage of couples in China; 2) is not subject to a timetable in which to implement it; 3) retains the dreaded “birth intervals” between children (if a woman gets pregnant before the interval has lapsed, she may be subject to forced abortion); 4) makes no promise to end the coercive enforcement of the Policy; and 5) promises to continue the One Child Policy “over a long period of time” – which could be decades.

To say that China has “relaxed” or “eased” its One Child Policy under these circumstances is entirely unwarranted. “China’s One-Child Policy ‘Reform’ Won’t End Abuses: US Group.” http://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/policy-07232014161119.html. 7/23/14; “China Hasn’t ‘Eased’ Its One-Child Policy.” http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/364200/china-hasnt-eased-its-one-child-policy-reggie-littlejohn. 11/18/13; “China Not Easing One Child Policy, Says Campaigner.” http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/china-not-easing-one-child-policy-says-campaigner.   11/22/13; “Little Change in Practice for China’s One Child Family Policy.”http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/nov/24/little-change-in-practice-for-chinas-one-child-fam/?page=all. 11/24/13.

In China, there are currently 117-118 boys born for every 100 girls born – the worst gender ratio in the world. Nor will the tweaking of the One Child Policy have a significant impact on gendercide. “Will the end of China’s One-Child Policy Shift its Boy-Girl Ratio?” http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/11/15/will-the-end-of-chinas-one-child-policy-shift-its-boy-girl-ratio/. 11/15/13; “One-Child Policy is One Big Problem for China.” http://www.newsweek.com/2014/01/24/one-child-policy-one-big-problem-china-245118.html. 1/24/14; “China’s Revised One Child Policy Still Enables Discrimination Against Girls.”
http://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/1394011/chinas-revised-one-child-policy-still-enables-discrimination. 12/31/13

This message was at the core of my presentation at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in March, 2014. “China 1-Child Policy Warning Taken to U.N.” http://www.wnd.com/2014/03/china-1-child-policy-warning-taken-to-u-n/. 3/22/14;

China’s One Child Policy Causes Sexual Slavery; China’s 2014 Promotion in the State Department’s TIP Report Is Baseless and Unwarranted.

In 2013, the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons or TIP Report downgraded China to a Tier 3 nation – a status it shared with Iran, Sudan and North Korea. Tier 3 nations may be subject to sanctions, if approved by the U.S. President. http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2013/

The 2013 TIP Report discussed how China’s One Child Policy, combined with son preference, has caused a gender imbalance that is driving human trafficking and sexual slavery, not only within China but from the surrounding countries as well. The Report lists the many nations from which women and girls are trafficked into China: “Women and children from neighboring Asian countries, including Burma, Vietnam, Laos, Singapore, Mongolia, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), as well as from Russia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas, are reportedly trafficked to China for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor.”

The 2013 TIP Report found that, despite the prevalence of human trafficking and sexual slavery, the Chinese government’s efforts at prevention fell below minimum standards. In fact, the Report found that many state-run institutions were complicit in the trafficking: “ . . . The Chinese government did not demonstrate significant efforts to comprehensively prohibit and punish all forms of trafficking and to prosecute traffickers. The government continued to perpetuate human trafficking in at least 320 state-run institutions, while helping victims of human trafficking in only seven.”

The 2013 TIP Report further criticized the Chinese government for failing to “address the effects its birth limitation policy had in creating a gender imbalance and fuelingtrafficking, particularly through bride trafficking and forced marriage.”

The 2014 TIP Report has promoted China from a ‘Tier 3’ to a ‘Tier 2 Watch List’ nation.  The report appears to attribute this promotion to a technical modification of the One Child Policy:

The PRC government maintained efforts to prevent trafficking in persons.  In November 2013, the government modified its birth limitation policy to allow families with one single-child parent to have a second child, a change that may affect future demand for prostitution and for foreign women as brides for Chinese men – both of which may be procured by force or coercion. TIP Report, p. 134.

The fact that the PRC government tweaked the One Child Policy does not signify that it ‘maintained efforts to prevent trafficking in persons.’  Allowing a relatively small number of families to have a second child will not end gendercide or sexual slavery in China.  The selective abortion and abandonment of baby girls is most prevalent in the countryside, where couples already can have a second child if the first child is a girl.  Even if the most recent modification were to improve gender ratios at birth, the impact on sexual slavery would not be felt for decades to come.  What about all the women and girls who are being trafficked now?  The TIP Report does not cite any effective new initiatives by the CCP to help current victims of sexual slavery. “Trafficking and Sexual Slavery – China’s Promotion in State Dept. Report Unwarranted.” http://www.womensrightswithoutfrontiers.org/blog/?p=1730 7/28/14

Women from surrounding countries are often victims of deception, promised a better life with a good job, and then forced into sexual slavery. “China’s one-child policy creates market for Cambodian brides.”   http://www.ucanews.com/news/chinas-one-child-policy-creates-market-for-cambodian-brides/70749 4/22/14

Forced Abortion in China Is Linked to Breast Cancer in Women and Low Birth Weight, Increased Chance of Death in Subsequent Pregnancies.

 TIANJIN, CHINA. A medical study from China has revealed an additional way in which women are victimized by the One-Child Policy: significantly increased risk of breast cancer.

Researchers in China have found that the dramatic rise in breast cancer in China is associated with the prevalence of induced abortions (IA) under the One-Child Policy. The study, conducted by a team of epidemiologists from Tianjin Medical University Cancer Hospital, analyzed data from over 36 different studies in both the United States and China. Their conclusion:

“IA [is] significantly associated with an increased risk of breast cancer among Chinese females, and the risk of breast cancer increases as the number of IA increases.” Specifically, the study found that one IA increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer by 44 percent, two by 76 percent, and three by 89 percent.

The study notes that historically, China has had low breast cancer rates when compared with Western nations, but “the incidence of breast cancer in China ha[s] increased at an alarming rate over the past two decades.” The study notes that this rise “was paralleled to the one-child-per-family policy.”

In our view, the strong association of abortion and breast cancer established by this study brings the women’s rights violations under the One Child Policy

to a new level:  a woman pregnant in China without a birth permit is subjected to both government imposed forced abortion, and also breast cancer as a result of it. Where abortion is forced, the subsequent development of breast cancer becomes a violation of women’s rights in itself.China: One-Child Policy Linked to Breast Cancer – Study.” http://www.womensrightswithoutfrontiers.org/blog/?p=1428. 12/2/13

Forced Abortion in China Correlates with Low Birth Weight, Increased Chance of Death in Subsequent Pregnancies

A 2012 dissertation submitted to the University of Hong Kong found that children in China are more likely to face serious health complications, including death, if their mothers have had multiple induced abortions. The study concluded that having more than one abortion increases the risk of low birth weight in subsequent pregnancies. Indeed, women who have had three or more induced abortions are at five times the risk of preterm birth in a subsequent pregnancy.

The study, conducted by Cui Limin, explained that nearly two thirds of neonatal deaths are related to low birth weight. For children surviving infancy, LBW increases the risk of neuron-developmental problems, respiratory tract infections, and behavioral problems.[2] According to the study, those with very LBW suffer from conditions including cerebral palsy, blindness, impaired hearing and learning disabilities. Besides harming the child, these health problems put extra financial strain on parents, the study noted.

Women in China are forced into induced-labor abortions, up to the ninth month of pregnancy. In our view, this is a violation of women’s rights of the first degree. We are now learning that these forced abortions also put their future children at risk for respiratory complications, cerebral palsy, and even death related to low birth weight. They also may damage a woman’s future reproductive and general health. This is a violation of the women’s rights and the rights of their future children.  Forced abortion must be stopped, and families should be compensated if their children experience health problems caused by previous induced labor forced abortions.

According to the study, 14.37 million induced abortions were performed in 2012 – one quarter of the abortions in the world — many of which were repeat abortions. The study credited the One-Child Policy as “one of the most important factors for the increased induced abortion rate,” and cited the prevalence of forced and sex-selective abortions in China.”

The Chinese Government Persecutes the Children of Dissidents

On a personal note, this report would not be complete without including the story of Anni Zhang, daughter of celebrated pro-democracy activist Zhang Lin. The Chinese government has detained Zhang Lin on and off for more than 13 years since the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. At one point he was tortured nearly to death and and was confined to a wheelchair. When the Chinese Communist Party could not silence Zhang Lin by persecuting him directly, they resorted to persecuting his 10-year-old daughter Anni. Anni was called into the principal’s office at her elementary school one day in April 2013, and from there was whisked away by four unidentified men who detained her overnight, cold, hungry and frightened. She was then denied the right to attend school. She and her father were placed under house arrest for months. They escaped and became fugitives. When they were caught, they reached out to Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, asking us to get Anni out of China. My husband and I offered to raise her as our own daughter. With the help of many brave souls in China, several of whom remain in detention to this day, as well as Jing Zhang, President of Women’s Rights in China and Rep. Christopher Smith, we were able to secure safe passage for Anni and her sister Ruli to come to the United States.

It was only after Anni arrived and had been living in our home for months that we discovered that she is a survivor of the One Child Policy. Family planning police had severely harassed her mother, trying to force her to abort Anni. Her parents held firm despite extreme pressure and Anni was born. Every day I am reminded by my beautiful Chinese daughter of the immeasurable loss of every baby forcibly aborted and every girl selectively aborted under China’s One Child Policy. Anni has turned out to be something of a prodigy on the piano. Her brave father, Zhang Lin, remains in prison to this day. “China’s youngest detainee decries torture of father.” http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/chinas-youngest-detainee-decries-torture-of-father/. 5/8/14; “Daughter of Chinese Activist Arrives in US to Begin New Life.” http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/281475-daughter-of-chinese-activist-arrives-in-us-to-begin-new-life/. 8/8/13; “Sisters beg presidents for dad’s freedom.” http://www.wnd.com/2013/12/sisters-beg-presidents-for-dads-freedom/. 12/17/13.

Forced Abortion Is Official Government Rape

The Chinese forced abortion policy is systematic, institutionalized violence against women. Because of the sheer numbers involved, it is the most massive women’s rights issue in the world today, and it must be stopped.

I hope to work with you to help end this extremely serious violation of the rights of women and girls in China. Please feel free to contact me should you require any further information.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.

Very truly yours,

Reggie Littlejohn

Reggie Littlejohn, President
Women’s Rights Without Frontiers
Stop Forced Abortion – China’s War on Women! Video (4 mins)

[1] Agreed conclusions on the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls, UNCSW 2013, pp. 5, 14.   http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/csw57/CSW57_Agreed_Conclusions_%28CSW_report_excerpt%29.pdf

[2] Read the Study: The Effect of Induced Abortion on the Risk of Low Birth Weight, Cui Limin http://hub.hku.hk/bitstream/10722/183648/1/FullText.pdf?accept=1

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