A coalition of human rights groups is calling on the United Nations to investigate China's family planning law to focus international attention on forced abortions, sterilization and other abuses reportedly used to impose Beijing's one-child policy.
The complaint provides names, dates, photos and references to news stories about human rights violations in its call for an investigation into 17 cases of Chinese families who say they were subjected to abuses such as forced abortion, forced sterilization, human trafficking and baby selling under China's one-child policy.
"It is patently obvious that the largest, most historic violence against women and girls in the world today, or in all of human history, must be the practical effect of China's one-child policy," said Samuel B. Casey, a coalition leader and managing director of the Jubilee Campaign, a human rights group that has nongovernmental organization consultative status at the United Nations.
The Coalition to End Violence Against Pregnant Women has filed a formal complaint with the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, which is planning a conference for March on stopping violence against women and children. The coalition includes All Girls Allowed, ChinaAID, Women for Life International Inc., Canada Silent No More and Endeavor Forum Inc.
The international human rights group Women's Rights Without Frontiers has filed a separate complaint with the commission.
Attempts to obtain comments from the Chinese Embassy in Washington were not successful.
"The women and children of China are neither safe nor secure so long as this heinous policy is permitted to exist," Mr. Casey said in the coalition's complaint.
"Any discussion of women's rights, or human rights, would be a charade if forced abortion in China is not front and center," Reggie Littlejohn, founder and president of Women's Rights Without Frontiers, said in her group's complaint.
China's policy "causes more violence against women and girls than any other official policy on earth," said Ms. Littlejohn, whose complaint identifies late-term forced abortions and forced sterilizations, and calls for an investigation into U.S. taxpayer funding for abuses via the U.N. Population Fund.
A U.N. spokeswoman said that general information about complaints filed with the commission was not immediately available.
The women's commission each year accepts complaints, petitions and appeals about human rights violations involving women to identify trends and issues affecting them. This year's deadline for filing complaints was Aug. 1.
The commission allows governments to respond to reported violations within their countries' borders. It later compiles materials, holds discussions and offers policy recommendations.
Previous commission issues have included the arbitrary arrests of women, "virginity testing" and "violations of women to own and inherit property."
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