Memorandum from The Society for the Protection
of Unborn Children
1. The Society for the Protection of Unborn
Children (SPUC) is a lobbying and educational membership-organisation,
founded in London in 1967 to defend human life from conception
to natural death. SPUC is regularly invited by parliamentary committees
to submit evidence.
2. SPUC has been concerned about the gross
violations of human rights attendant in China's population control
programme (the "one-child policy") since its inception
in 1979. These violations include forced abortions and sterilisations,
infanticide, arbitrary detention, destruction of property and
torture by so-called family planning officials.
3. SPUC is scandalised that there is not
one single mention in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Human
Rights Annual Report 2001 of these internationally-documented
4. This omission is in stark contrast to
the annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices submitted
by the US State Department to the Committee on International Relations
(US House of Representatives) and the Committee on Foreign Relations
(US Senate). Every year since 1983, these reports have detailed
evidence of these violations. In the last quarter of 2001, the
US House of Representatives International Relations Committee
received testimony under the title "Coercive Population Control
in China: New Evidence of Forced Abortion and Forced Sterilisation".
5. Secretary of State for International
Development Clare Short said recently: "Obviously, coercive
fertility control is practised in China". (Hansard, 7
November 2001, col. 285).
6. Amnesty International has also documented
these violations. In September 2000, Catherine Baber, Amnesty
International's China researcher was quoted as saying: "We
are especially worried about people being put in detention to
put pressure on pregnant relatives to undergo forced abortion.
As far as we are concerned, that amounts to torture". (Daily
Mail, 2 September 2000).
7. These violations are frequently reported
by international and British media. On 5 August last year, the
Sunday Telegraph reported that: "A Chinese county
has been ordered to conduct 20,000 abortions and sterilisations
before the end of the year after communist family planning chiefs
found that the official one child policy was being routinely flouted
. . . Many of the terminations will have to be conducted forcibly
on peasant women to meet the quota . . . Officials said that,
as part of the drive to meet the quota, doctors had been ordered
to sterilise women as soon as they gave birth after officially
8. The Chinese regime has recently codified
the one-child policy (Agence France Press, 2 January 2002) and
expressed its determination to maintain it (BBC News, 25 September
(30 JANUARY) EVIDENCE
SPUC REQUESTS THAT
1. In the course of the drafting of the
Human Rights Annual Report 2001, was evidence of human rights
violations attendant in China's population control policy considered
for inclusion, and if not, why not?
2. Why has the Report omitted mention of
human rights violations attendant in China's population control
policy, when ministers for International Development have admitted
in parliamentary debates that these violations do occur?
3. Was mention of human rights violations
attendant in China's population control policy omitted from the
Report on the advice of the Department for International Development
and/or DfID-funded organisations active in China?
4. Why has the FCO in its Report ignored
evidence published by the US State Department in its annual Country
Reports on Human Rights Practices of human rights violations attendant
in China's population control policy?
5. Will the Minister give an assurance to
the Committee that the 2002 Report will mention the human rights
violations attendant in China's population control policy?
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children
28 January 2002