Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

France 24 meets George Weah ahead of inauguration

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Gymnast's fierce courtroom address

Read more

THE DEBATE

A whole new world: Trump anniversary special

Read more

#TECH 24

Will artificial intelligence ever surpass the human brain?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Aiding migrants in France: What are the legal implications?

Read more

FOCUS

The challenge of clearing Colombia of landmines

Read more

REVISITED

Video: Gambians reflect on first year of democracy

Read more

FASHION

Pitti Uomo in Florence, the world's largest men's fashion showcase

Read more

ENCORE!

Award-winning Filipino filmmaker Brillante Mendoza on keeping it real

Read more

Asia-pacific

China formally eases one-child policy

© Photo: AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-12-28

China on Saturday formally approved the easing of its longstanding one-child policy, allowing couples to have a second child if one parent is an only child, official news agency Xinhua reported.

Previously, a couple could generally only have a second child if both parents were only children, or if the first born to a rural couple was a girl.

It is the first major reform to the policy since it was implemented three decades ago with the aim of keeping China’s population growth in check.

The plan was envisioned by the ruling Communist Party about five years ago, with officials worried that the strict controls were undermining economic growth and contributing to a rapidly ageing population China had no hope of supporting financially.

On Saturday China’s largely rubber-stamp parliament approved a resolution to formalise the law change, with responsibility for its implementation to be delegated to local legislatures, Xinhua said.

Labour camps abolished

A second major reform was also formalised Saturday, with parliament aproving the abolition of a controversial labour camp system.

The “re-education through labour” system, in place since 1957, allows police to sentence petty criminals to up to four years’ confinement in labour camps without going through the courts.

Critics say the system undermines the rule of law and is often used against political activists and followers of Falun Gong, a banned spiritual group, while state media has said that the development of China's legal system has rendered the camps "superfluous", with their "historical mission" having come to an end.

According to UN figures published in 2009, an estimated 190,000 people were being held in the camps.

All existing inmates will now be freed, Xinhua reported.

The changes to both the one-child and labour camp polices were included among a sweeping raft of reforms announced last month after a Communist Party meeting that mapped out policy for the next decade.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)

Date created : 2013-12-28

  • CHINA

    China to relax strict one-child policy

    Read more

  • CHINA

    China begins talks on economic reform

    Read more

  • FRANCE-CHINA

    China intimidates FRANCE 24 reporter over Tibet film

    Read more

COMMENT(S)