No More Funds for Human Rights Abusers

No More Funds for Human Rights Abusers

Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) today applauded the State Department’s announcement that the United States will no longer fund the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) due to its support for coercive birth limitation policies and will instead redirect those funds to support other maternal health programs. Smith, a longtime advocate of defunding the organization, said the UNFPA “gave China’s brutally enforced population control policies the international stamp of approval.”

“Since 1979—first through the ‘one-child policy’ and now through the alleged ‘two-child policy’—the government of China has sanctioned state-sponsored violence and massive discrimination against women and children—particularly the girl child,” said Smith. “China continues to rely on the brutal machinery of population enforcement and refuses to allow Chinese couples to determine the size of their own families—in violation of international law.”

“The UNFPA has been complicit in China’s population control policies from the very beginning, they not only turned a blind eye to abuses, but helped facilitate and fund them,” Smith continued. Unlike Presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, President Obama provided over $280 million in taxpayer funds to the UNFPA, despite its relationship with China.

Women in China still endure coercive pregnancy monitoring, fines and the immense psychological burden of enforced birth limits. China is the only country in the world where the female suicide rate is higher than the male. Estimates show that between 25 and 40 percent more women kill themselves each year than men in China. Smith is Chair of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), which issues an Annual Report that includes a chapter on “Population Control” in China.

Under the Kemp-Kasten amendment, the President has the authority to make a determination not to fund organizations engaged in coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.

“In contrast to the Obama Administration’s silent acceptance of the coercion, suffering and death of Chinese citizens, I am heartened by the Trump Administration’s early action to apply Kemp-Kasten and end U.S. support for this most egregious human rights violation,” said Smith.

As CECC Chairman, Smith has held over 60 hearings on human rights abuses in China during his time in Congress, with three hearings in the past two years focusing entirely on the consequences of China’s population control policies. His most recent speech entitled “Continued Coercion: China’s Two-Child Policy Threatens Human Rights and Prosperity” was delivered at the Heritage Foundation on March 8, 2017.