Abuse / Violence / Forced Abortion

State Department Reports on Forced Abortions in China, North Korea (4/05)

The Bush administration has released a report detailing the abuse of women in China and North Korea as a result of coercive and forced population control policies, including forced abortion, sterilizations, and infanticide.

The report, released by the state department, says that in China, “violence against women, including imposition of a coercive birth limitation policy that resulted in instances of forced abortion and forced sterilization, continued to be a problem” in 2004.

The report also documented specific cases of injuries, torture, and imprisonment of women, including the case of a woman who committed suicide after her relatives were detained in “population schools:” designed to compel them to accept the one child policy. The report noted that the government prohibited the use of such schools as detention centers, but said that the human rights violation continues despite government claims they are cracking down on abuses.

The state department also reported on conditions in prisons and detention centers in North Korea, stating “pregnant female prisoners reportedly underwent forced abortions, and in other cases babies reportedly were killed upon birth in prisons.”

North Korean defectors have reported that pregnant women fleeing the one-child policy in China are often tortured and that women repatriated from China are forced to watch as their newly born children were killed. “The reason given for this policy was to prevent the birth of half-Chinese children,” the report said.

The North Korean government has refused to allow human rights monitors to visit prisons there and one delegate told the U.N. that reports of abuses were propaganda from “egotistic” and “hostile forces” seeking to undermine the country’s sovereignty. [Elliot Institute News, vol.4, no.5, 8April2005]