French Human Rights Group Speak Out Against Sterilization

 

In France, a coalition of human rights groups is speaking out against the sterilization of five women with mental disabilities.

 

Applying international human rights law, including the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the groups argue that forced sterilization is a violation of the right to be free from torture and ill-treatment, to respect for private and family life, to found a family, and not least to the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of gender and disability.

 

All Girls Allowed, an organization dedicated to restoring value and dignity to girls and mothers in China praises these groups for their bold words and justice-focused stance.  The group asks that attention be given not only to these five women in France, but also to thousands of women in China who are sterilized against their will, not because of disability, but because of China’s One-Child Policy.

 

The methods through which Chinese women are forcibly sterilized are horrific.  In 2010, Amnesty International accused authorities in Puning of compelling people to be sterilized by imprisoning their elderly relatives.  In addition, the sheer quantity of women sterilized in China annually is particularly distressing.

 

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China released its annual report (2010) with information about forced sterilizations throughout China, giving specific cases of mass sterilization as well as punishment for officials refusing to perform the procedure: “Qianxi officials face a penalty of 1,000  yuan (US$147) for each woman with two children that they fail to sterilize, and conversely, they are promised a reward of the same amount for each tubal ligation that they see through to completion.”

 

The report continues to discuss the government’s target goals for sterilizations: “In Puning, authorities indicated that the operation's initial sweep, conducted from April 7 to April 26, resulted in 5,601 surgical sterilizations.  The government reportedly set 9,559 tubal ligations as its target to achieve before the end of April.”

                                                                                

“Forced sterilization of women is always wrong and our hearts go out to these five women for the loss of freedom they have suffered,” says Brian Lee, Executive Director at All Girls Allowed.  “But Whether healthy or disabled, French or Chinese, all women should be given the right to protect their own bodies and to have their own families.”


 







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