.- Although China expanded its former one child policy to a limit of two children per family in 2015, decades of government-enforced population control have left China with significant gender and age imbalances that have far reaching societal consequences, including a rise in sex trafficking and elderly suicide, according to a Chinese pro-life advocate.
“There are an estimated 37 million more males living in China than females. What that has done is it has created a situation in China in which there is sex-trafficking within China and the surrounding countries as well, where women and girls become forced brides or prostitutes because of the lack of women in China,” the president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers Reggie Littlejohn told CNA.
Littlejohn, who founded Women’s Rights Without Frontiers as an aid and advocacy organization in response to “forced abortion, forced sterilization, sex-selective abortion of baby girls under the one child policy,” is now seeking to address the unanticipated consequences of population control.
“Right now the problem in China is not that they have too many people. It is that they have too few young people to support their rapidly aging population and, even under the two child policy, they are not getting the baby boom that they need to help with that situation or to help with the fact that their labor force is now declining,” according to Littlejohn.
The human rights advocate has seen the impact on the ground of this dramatic demographic shift, and is concerned about societal effect on the human dignity of the elderly.
“There is a steep rise in senior suicide in China,” explained Littlejohn, “historically, elderly people depended on having a large family that will support them in their old age and now a lot of them don’t have anyone to support them and now they are killing themselves in good numbers.”
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