On May 19th, Myanmar’s president, Thein Sein, signed the “Population Control and Healthcare Law.” This law is part of a package of four bills labeled “race and religion protection bills.”
The Population Control Law is written in language that mandates birth spacing and allows local governments to oversee population control initiatives. The law offers no protection against coercion, force, or discrimination.
The law is widely considered a means of targeting the Rohingya, a persecuted Muslim minority in Burma that has been the sole targeted victim of Burma’s two-child policy.
The recent Population Control Bill has been condemned by numerous human rights organizations, as well as by the U.S. State Department.
In the past several weeks, as the proposed law worked its way through Burma’s legislative system, tens of thousands fled across the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea in overcrowded boats.
Hundreds of men, women, and children die from the conditions on the boats or under abuse from the traffickers guiding them out of Burma.
[29 May 2015, Anne Roback Morse, pop.org, Population Research Institute]