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Defending life
from conception to natural death


Committee raps government over Chinese human rights, including one child policy

18 March 2003

Committee raps government over Chinese human rights, including one-child policy Westminster, 18 March 2003--The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) has welcomed a report which criticises the British government's slow progress in its human rights dialogue with China - including over what the Committee called the "often brutal enforcement of China's one-child policy". In its report issued today1 on the Foreign Office's Human Rights Annual Report 2002, the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee calls upon the Foreign Office to "present a more honest picture of what has and has not been achieved by the Dialogue," saying that the Government's "current strategy appears to be yielding few tangible results." SPUC political spokesman Anthony Ozimic commented: "We welcome this repeated criticism2 of the British government's failure to uphold the fundamental human rights of women and children - born and unborn - in China. We also welcome the submission by Amnesty International, which calls upon China to "ensure that there is no impunity for human rights violations", citing the failure of the Chinese authorities to punish population control officials who "resort to violence, torture and ill-treatment, including physically coerced abortions and sterilisation."" The report comes hot on the heels of new evidence of forced abortion in China released two weeks ago at a conference in Washington, at which U.S. House of Representatives International Relations Committee Vice Chairman Chris Smith called for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) "to be held accountable in a court of law" for "aiding and abetting a dictatorship that has declared war on its women and on its unborn and newly born children, mostly girls." Last year President George W. Bush declared that US federal funding of UNFPA was illegal under US law which bans such funding for organisations complicit in coercive population control. Despite this, the European Union and EU member-states including Britain still give UNFPA tens of millions of pounds in annual funding. Mr. Ozimic concluded: "While the British government refuses to admit that its support of UNFPA's China programme is in violation of international principles protecting pregnant women agreed at Cairo3, it cannot claim to be implementing an 'ethical foreign policy'." * committee press notice, 10 March 2003 * Britain forced to face up to one-child policy, SPUC, 24 September 2002 * The International Conference on Population and Development, 1994, which is commonly interpreted as giving women protection from coercive population control

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