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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Britain forced to face up to one child policy

24 September 2002

Britain forced to face up to one-child policy Westminster, 24 September 2002--The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has forced the British Foreign Office to address for the first time the gross violations of human rights committed under China's one-child policy. Following SPUC-initiated criticism by the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee1 and pressure from SPUC's 45,000-strong membership, the Foreign Office has for the first time included a section on the one-child policy in its Human Rights Annual Report (2002 edition issued today). The report expresses "concerns..such as enforced sterilisations, the abortion of female foetuses and the abandonment of female children", noting that these "are also a source of concern for many Chinese people." SPUC political spokesman Anthony Ozimic commented: "The wall of silence which the Foreign Office surrounded forced abortion in China has been broken. Although the Foreign Office has adopted Clare Short's fiction that the one-child policy is being softened, it has realised that the British public will no longer accept the blind eye that the West has often turned to China's continuing persecution of pregnant women." Mr. Ozimic continued: "Britain and the EU still has a long way to go if it wants to match the United States' record in defending the human rights of Chinese women. Europe can only match this record if it recognises, as the US administration has done, that the United Nations Population Fund's (UNFPA) complicity in the one-child policy is in violation of international principles protecting pregnant women agreed at Cairo2." "Only when the British withdraws funding for UNFPA can it claim to be implementing an 'ethical foreign policy'", Mr. Ozimic concluded. * see SPUC media release, 8 March 2002 * The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), 1994, which is commonly interpreted as giving women protection from coercive population control.

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