The one-child policy was so strictly implemented that health workers do regular house visits to ensure that everyone complies with the policy. This is the part when the policy has become a subject of human right violations. There are accounts that there are cases of forced abortion, forced sterilization and infanticide just to make sure that everyone follows the policy. Just in 2007, there were reported incidents of pregnant women being forced by government officials to abort their child for the reason that they are not allowed to have another child.
Officials also demanded huge fines and these acts resulted in a riot and some people might have been killed as well officials leading population control efforts (Rosenberg). Reports indicate that fines charged equal three years of salary. On the other hand, some parents perform sex-selective abortion to have a child of the preferred sex since they are allowed only one child. Some girls are also being declared missing because they are hidden from government officials. The policy creates a sex ratio imbalance as male children are generally preferred by the policy.
In a recent census, there is a 10 percent excess of male birth compared to female births. An explanation for the imbalanced sex ratio may be because of infanticide common in newly-born girls. There is also an increasing mortality rate for female infants in China (Feng, p. 6) probably because of infant health care preferences as female infants are not given as much attention as male infants (Hesketh). The imbalanced sex ratio has adverse social effects. The shortage of women resulted in some men being unable to marry which has resulted in mental problems and disruptive behavior among men.
The lack of females in the society also contributed to kidnapping and trafficking of women as well as an increase in the number of prostitutes which leads to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases such as AIDS (Hesketh). In the Chinese provinces, majority of the couples are allowed to have two children particularly if the first child is a female. If the second child still happens to be a female, the pregnancy likely “disappears” which gives the couple another opportunity to conceive a child and have a son to carry the family name.
It is uncertain what really happens to the disappearing pregnancies. It may be because of sex-selective abortion. The practice is illegal but it is being performed with impunity. Although infanticide is now a less likely case, female infants are not given equal medical care (Hesketh). The rapid decline of population in China is a result of the one-child policy while also taking into account progressive medical technology which increased the life expectancy of people resulting in an aging population.
Considering that the aging population mostly has only one children means that caring for the elderly could become a problem. China has developed a pension system to solve such a problem but many say that the system is underfunded (Feng, p. 5). In 1982, people over 65 years of age make up five percent of China’s population. It increased to 7. 5 in 2005 and is expected to go beyond 15 percent in 2025. The aging population results in the so-called “4:2:1 phenomenon” meaning that a couple should have to care for one child and four parents (Hesketh).