Posted on | August 2, 2012 by Lisa Correnti |
In an article in the South China Morning Post, Dr. Jackie Sheehan, associate professor at the School of Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Nottingham, notes that one-child policy enforcement abuses will persist as long as incentives continue to be offered by the state. Fees paid by couples to have a second child are used to pay salaries to local family planning officials rewarding them for abortions and sterilizations and penalizing them for an “out-of-quota birth.”
In a township in Anhui province, for each birth out of quota and each mandated sterilisation not carried out, five points were deducted from an official’s score. Teams of village officials competed for a 1,000-yuan bonus for the top-scoring team, while those from the last-placed village were named and shamed.
In one Guangdong county, it was officials who did not apply illegal methods who were disciplined, not the ones who “spared no effort” to carry out 5,601 sterilisations out of a target of 9,559 in April 2010.
Sheehan writes that though an official may be removed due to public outcry it is not uncommon to see that person be promoted to a more prestigious position within another government agency.
Take the case of Li Qun, mayor of Linyi , a small city in eastern Shandong province. In 2005, activist Chen Guangcheng, now in the United States after his dramatic escape from more than two years of house arrest, exposed forced abortions and sterilisations in the city. Li lost the mayor’s job, but was later appointed to the more prestigious post of Communist Party secretary of Qingdao , Shandong’s major commercial city.
Children born outside the birth quota are often not permitted to be registered within the official government system – hukou, which denies access to school and healthcare.
Some schools will take them for a substantial fee, but it does not buy an equal education. They may be taught by different teachers and even have to wear different uniforms. The problems for unregistered children persist into adulthood, barring their whole family from state employment and the child from applying to university. In addition, most hospitals refuse to treat anyone without local hukou.