Family planning authorities have detained hundreds of people against their will in a campaign to sterilize 10,000 men and women suspected of trying to violate China’s strict birth control policies.
About 1,300 people were being held in cramped and poor conditions in offices throughout the small town of Puning in southern Guangdong Province and are forced to listen to “lectures” on state rules limiting the size of families, the Nanfang Countryside Daily said.
In the years after China launched its strict “one couple, one child” family planning policy in the late 1970s, abuses such as forced later-term abortions, sterilizations and even the killing of newborn babies were widely reported.
But such practices have fallen sharply in recent years as the policy has become quite widely accepted and exceptions have been introduced.
However, officials in Puning launched a 20-day campaign on April 7 since so many couples have left the area in search of factory jobs and have found it easier to have children outside the government-set quotas.
The county intends to sterilize 9,559 women or their husbands who are suspected of planning to have a second or third child. So far about half that number have agreed to comply, the newspaper said.