Statement

UNFPA Statement on the Population Control Healthcare Law in Myanmar

9 June 2015
Author: UNFPA

UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, would like to express its grave concerns about the recently adopted Healthcare for Population Control Law. The Law, if implemented, could directly undermine basic human rights and women's reproductive rights and freedoms, as confirmed in the Programme of Action, adopted at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, to which Myanmar agreed, and other international human rights norms.

The Law would risk imposing birth-spacing requirements on individuals and couples. UNFPA emphasizes that the practice of family planning must be voluntary in all circumstances. The application of this Law could also fuel discrimination and worsen communal tensions.

Myanmar recently announced the results of its first census in 30 years. UNFPA stated at its launch: “Every woman and couple has the right to freely determine the number, timing and spacing of their children, free of discrimination, violence and coercion. Coercive laws regulating the number or spacing of children violate human rights, and contradict the Government’s national commitments and international obligations.”

UNFPA also supports the declaration by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to health that any coercive requirement for birth-spacing would violate women's human rights. This is why UNFPA calls on the Government of Myanmar to reconsider the Law and bring it in line with universally agreed human rights standards and norms.