Skip to main content
Amnesty International UK
Log in

China: Reform of one-child policy 'not enough'

“The state has no business regulating how many children people have.” - William Nee

Chinese women will remain at risk of intrusive forms of contraception and coerced abortions, despite the authorities announcing a change to the country’s decades-long one-child policy, Amnesty International said today.

Chinese state media reported today that all urban married couples will now be allowed to have two children instead of one.

William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International, said:

“The move to change China’s one-child policy is not enough. Couples that have two children could still be subjected to coercive and intrusive forms of contraception, and even forced abortions – which amount to torture.

“The state has no business regulating how many children people have. If China is serious about respecting human rights, the government should immediately end such invasive and punitive controls over people’s decisions to plan families and have children.”

Amnesty continues to receive reports of coerced abortions and sterilisations in China.

In the past significant abuses have resulted from the one-child policy. In 2010, 1,377 relatives of couples targeted for sterilisation in Puning City, southern China, were detained in an apparent attempt to pressure the couples to ‘consent’ to sterilisation.

View latest press releases