Washington International Law Journal


Graciela Gómez


China has instituted two controversial population control programs. First instituted in 1979, the One Child Policy seeks to control population growth by limiting the number of children born to married couples. The Maternal and Infant Health Care Law ("Eugenics Law"), effective June of 1995, has a stated purpose of improving the quality of the population by mandating sterilization for people with serious genetic defects. Implementation of the One Child Policy has led to forced abortion and involuntary sterilization. The Eugenics Law is likely to engender similar types of human rights abuses. Since 1989, the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals has refused to give asylum to Chinese nationals fleeing persecution because of reproductive rights violations. This Comment analyzes the developments associated with denying asylum based on the implementation of the One Child Policy and attempts to extrapolate the reasoning to future claims based on the implementation of the Eugenics Law.

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