The Center for Reproductive Rights submitted a shadow letter to the 36th session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women highlighting violations of reproductive and sexual rights of women in China. A Chinese delegation reported to the Committee on governmental efforts to fulfill treaty obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), a key UN treaty established to further women’s right to nondiscrimination and gender equality. The Committee has since released its Concluding Observations, calling attention to several concerns the Center raised in its shadow letter.
Our shadow letter underlined many areas of concern, including: harmful effects of the one-child policy such as forced abortion, coerced sterilization, and increased trafficking and abduction of women, limited access to infertility treatment, maternal mortality, sex-selective abortions, and deficiencies in sex education. The Committee, through its Concluding Observations, expressed concern over rights violations ensuing from these practices. It advised the Chinese government to investigate and prosecute instances of forced sterilization and abortion and to strengthen and enforce existing laws outlawing sex-selective abortion and female infanticide.