China proposes harsh punishment to curb gender imbalance

March 14th, 2012 - 9:59 am ICT by IANS  

Beijing, March 14 (IANS) China should impose harsher punishments on medical workers who conduct illegal sex determination tests in order to balance the country’s skewed gender ratio, a top official said.

Census data shows that China’s gender ratio stood at 118 newborn boys for every 100 baby girls in 2010.

It translates to roughly one million more boys every year than girls, said Yang Yunyan, a deputy to parliament, the National People’s Congress.

“Most of the surplus boys are born in rural areas, a fact that will greatly affect social harmony,” Yang was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

Yang is also the director of the Population and Family Planning Commission of central China’s Hubei province.

The gender ratio imbalance has existed since the 1990s. Though authorities have made efforts to address the imbalance, it remains a serious problem, he said.

Although laws were there, it was difficult in practice to punish certified medical workers who conduct illegal gender tests, he said.

Yang called on the Supreme People’s Court to crack down harder on illegal testing cases, release relevant legal interpretations and consider heavier punishment for people who conduct such tests.

He cited a South Korean law that imposes a fine of 10 million Korean won (about $9,000) and jail for three years for illegal gender testing.

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