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Two-child policy is a government-imposed limit of two children allowed per family or the payment of government subsidies only to the first two children. It is used for some population groups in China, has previously been used in Vietnam, and has been discussed in the Philippines. Although not by law, in the 1970s, citizens of Hong Kong were also highly encouraged to have two children as a limit, and it was used as part of the region's family planning strategies.

China[edit]

During the 1970s, in Chinese citizens were encouraged to have two children. The ongoing Cultural Revolution and the strain it placed on the nation were large factors. During this time, the birth rate dropped from nearly 6 children per woman to just under 3.[1] (The colloquial term "births per woman" is usually formalized as the Total Fertility Rate (TFR), a technical term in demographic analysis meaning the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime if she were to experience the exact current age-specific fertility rates through her lifetime.)

As China's youngest generation (born under the one-child policy, which first became a requirement for most couples in 1979) is now of age for formation of the next generation, a single child would be left with having to provide support for his or her two parents and four grandparents. In response to this issue, as of 2009 all provinces maintained that couples were allowed to have two children if both parents were only children themselves.[2] In November 2013, the Chinese government announced that it will further relax the policy by allowing families to have two children if one of the parents is an only child.[3][4]

Moreover, in accordance with PRC's affirmative action policies towards ethnic minorities, all non-Han ethnic groups are subjected to different rules and are usually allowed to have two children in urban areas, and three or four in rural areas. Han Chinese living in rural areas are often permitted to have two children, as exceptions exist if the first child is a daughter.[5] Because of cases such as these, as well as urban couples who simply pay a fine (or "social maintenance fee") to have more children,[6] the overall fertility rate of mainland China is, in fact, closer to two children per family than to one child per family (1.8).

Hong Kong[edit]

In Hong Kong, the Two is Enough campaign in the 1970s encouraged people to have 2 or fewer children in each family. It contributed to the reduced birth rate in the following decades.

In Hong Kong, the Eugenics League was found in 1936, which became The Family Planning Association of Hong Kong in 1950.[7] The organisation provides family planning advice, sex education, birth control services to the general public of Hong Kong. In the 1970s, due to the rapidly rising population, it launched the "Two is Enough" campaign,[7] which reduced the general birth rate through educational means. The organisation,[8] founded the International Planned Parenthood Federation with its counterparts in seven other countries.[8] The total fertility rate in Hong Kong is currently 1.04 children per woman, one of the lowest in the world.

United Kingdom[edit]

In July 2007, the think tank the Optimum Population Trust (now Population Matters) advocated what the Daily Mail described as a "'two-child' policy" to combat population increases and climate change in the United Kingdom. The article stated:

"According to the report, published by the Optimum Population Trust, Britain's high birth rate is a major factor in the current level of climate change, which can only be combatted if families voluntarily limit the number of children they have."[9]

In October 2012, the Conservative Party's proposed policy of only paying child benefit for the first two children of unemployed parents has been described as a 'two-child policy',[10] and has been fronted by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and former leader of the Conservative Party Iain Duncan Smith.[11] The Conservative's coalition partners the Liberal Democrats are likely to block any attempts to implement the policy before the next general election.[12]

Vietnam[edit]

Vietnam had a two-child policy in the 1960s, which was used again in the 1990s.[13] The movement has been proven to lower Vietnam's birth rate, which had previously been at nearly 4 children per woman. In 2003, the plan was discontinued. In 2008, it was announced that the government was considering reviving it.[14][15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ CIA World Factbook
  2. ^ "计生委新闻发言人:11%以上人口可生两个孩子 (English: "Spokesperson of the one-child policy committee: 11% or more of the population may have two children)" (in Chinese). Sina.com. 10 July 2007. Retrieved 7 November 2008. 
  3. ^ Patti Waldmeir (2013-11-15). "China’s ‘one-child’ rethink marks symbolic shift". FT. Retrieved 2013-11-19. 
  4. ^ Ouyang, Y. (2013). "China relaxes its one-child policy". The Lancet 382 (9907): e28–e30. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62544-1.  edit
  5. ^ Yardley, Jim (11 May 2008). "China Sticking With One-Child Policy". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 November 2008. 
  6. ^ "New rich challenge family planning policy." Xinhua.
  7. ^ a b History of the Family Planning Association of Hong Kong
  8. ^ a b History of International Planned Parenthood Federation
  9. ^ Firth, Niall (11 July 2007). 7728/Families-children--thinktank.html "Families should have no more than two children - thinktank". London: The Daily Mail. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  10. ^ Ramesh, Randeep (25 October 2012). "Two-child benefits policy targets the strivers in low-paid jobs". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  11. ^ Grice, Andrew (26 October 2012). "What is Iain Duncan Smith's two-child policy?". London: The Independent. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  12. ^ Kirkup, James (26 October 2012). "Lib Dems will block IDS' two child policy". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  13. ^ "Vietnam's two-child policy". BBC. November 8, 2000. Retrieved April 23, 2010.
  14. ^ "Vietnam plans return to two-child policy to tackle population growth". Guardian. November 21, 2008. Retrieved April 23, 2010.
  15. ^ "Vietnam debates two-child policy". Retrieved 2009-05-18. 

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133 news items

World Magazine

World Magazine
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:26:15 -0700

A researcher for the Chinese government announced last week that all couples in China will be allowed to have a second child in two years, the latest easing of the 1979 one-child policy, according to Bloomberg. While the modification is a step forward ...

TODAYonline

Bloomberg
Fri, 17 Oct 2014 01:17:31 -0700

All Chinese couples will be allowed to have a second child in two years, said a researcher who advises the government on birth control policies. “We will fully relax the policy” in two years after an experiment allowing some couples to have a second ...

National Right to Life News

National Right to Life News
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 08:45:00 -0700

According to a report in Bloomberg Businessweek, Cai Fang, vice director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, has stated: “We will fully relax the policy” in two years, allowing all couples to have a second child. The reason: China's shrinking ...

Live Action News

Live Action News
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 07:15:00 -0700

It will not work to replace it by a 'two-child policy' as some of your advisors may be suggesting. Rather, the One Child Policy should be eradicated from the face of the earth, because it has caused more violence toward women and girls than any other ...
 
National Right to Life News
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 20:56:15 -0700

It wouldn't matter if the Chinese Party-State tomorrow declared a “two-child policy” across the board. This would not change the fact that the Chinese government was still asserting total control over procreation and, in pursuit of such control ...

Independent Catholic News

Christian Post
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 09:18:45 -0700

Littlejohn wrote that it is time to end the policy, which has caused "incalculable suffering to hundreds of millions of women and families in China." "It will not work to replace it by a 'two-child policy' as some of your advisors may be suggesting ...

Chinatopix

Chinatopix
Tue, 07 Oct 2014 02:00:00 -0700

However, in order to assuage the woes of a rapidly aging population as well as to replenish China's workforce, the Chinese government is now looking to implement a two-child policy instead. Urban couples will be permitted to have a second child if both ...

BP News

BP News
Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:22:30 -0700

Russell D. Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said a two-child policy "is not good enough to answer China's horrific human rights record when it comes to innocent unborn children." "We should be glad that ...
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