China formally loosens one-child policy, abolishes labour camps

  • Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times, Beijing
  • Updated: Dec 29, 2013 01:57 IST

China on Saturday formally approved the partial loosening of its one-child policy more than three decades after it was put in place and abolished the "re-education through labour" camps introduced more than 50 years ago.



The country’s top legislative body, the National People’s Congress — considered a rubber stamp parliament for the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) —expectedly approved the resolutions on Saturday at the end of a six-day session.

Under the new population policy, couples could have a second child if either parent is an only child. The suggested relaxation of the family planning policy is expected to bring China roughly 13 million more babies in five or six years, state media said earlier.

The policy was introduced in the 1970s to prevent overpopulation in a country which was the world’s most populous nation.

The official argument for keeping the policy in place for so long was that it prevented millions of births that would have strained the country’s resources.

But in the past few years it had come under criticism because of China’s falling birth rate resulting in rapidly falling numbers in the working age category of China’s ageing population. Also, the enforcement of the policy was often seen as excessive with allegations of officials carrying out forced abortions.

The new policy allows couples to have a second child if either parent is an only child. (AFP)

The "re-education through labour" camps — or "laojiao" as it is known in Chinese —had also come under increasingly heavy criticism from rights groups.

State media said that re-education through labour dealt with minor offenders whose crimes did not warrant full court proceedings. Controversially, it allowed detention for up to four years without an open trial.

Officials said the concept had become "redundant" as the "historical mission of laojiao has been completed."

From Around the Web
Sponsored by Revcontent

also read

Explosion near large demonstration in Kabul, multiple casualties reported
Show comments

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Chrome and Ad BlockPlus users

1.Press the ‘ABP’ icon in your toolbar at top right of this page

2. Click on ‘Enabled on this site’; this should now change to ‘Disabled on this site’


chrome



For Chrome and Ad Block users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Don’t run on pages on this domain’ and then click ‘exclude’ on the pop up


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Mozilla and AdBlock Plus (ABP) users

1.Press the ‘ABP’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Disable on hindustantimes.com’


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Internet Explorer and AdBlock Plus users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock Plus’ icon in your status bar at the bottom of the screen

2.Select the option ‘Disable on hindustantimes.com’


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Safari and AdBlock users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Don't run pages on this domain’ and then click 'exclude'


chrome