China’s family planning regulations

Danielle Cohen
By Danielle Cohen Immigration Law Solicitor Linkedin
Danielle Cohen has over 20 years of experience as a lawyer and a reputation for offering professional, honest and expert advice.
1 March 2021

China had a one child policy and parents who violated family planning laws and their children are subject to social discrimination. The family planning policy is a population control policy of the People’s Republic of China and until recently urban couples were restricted to only one child with some exceptions such as twins, and certain ethnic minorities and couples who are both single children themselves.

The policy has been amended to permit married couples to have two children, however, those who violate family planning policy are subject to a social compensation fee. This fee amounts to two to three times the average local annual income for the first additional child. Citizens with unauthorised pregnancies or couples with a child or children are instructed to take long term contraceptive measures. The enforcement of family planning regulations is the task of provincial governments that adopt different regulations and different local policy directives. However, there is no part of the country in which the policy does not apply.

Amnesty International has confirmed that the enforcement of family planning policy involves very intrusive actions such as forced abortions, sterilisation, etc… We are acting on behalf of a Chinese national who violated the family planning regulations. She remains at risk of forced sterilisation or forced abortion and the imposition of fines if returned to China. Of course, she would be denied the choice of having another child which is also a violation of her human rights. The applicant would suffer serious sanctions due to the violation of the family planning regulations. We will be making her application shortly.