Population Policy: Contemporary Issues

Population Policy: Contemporary Issues

Population Policy: Contemporary Issues

Population Policy: Contemporary Issues

Synopsis

This volume addresses some of the most important questions that have arisen in recent debates about population policy in the Third World: What are some of the national policy priorities? How are they implemented? How successful have they been? What is the role of international agencies in the implementation of population policy? What are some of the legal and ethical issues involved? The contributors focus on the Asian region, but also offer a geographically balanced treatment of the subject by including papers that discuss the experiences of countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, and African nations.

Excerpt

There have been significant developments in the field of population over the last two decades. At the World Population Conference in Bucharest, Romania in 1974, there was overwhelming agreement that socioeconomic development is the only humane approach to reducing birth rates. Ten years later in 1984, at the World Population Conference at Mexico City, the same countries which enthusiastically supported the development strategy at Bucharest took the position that population planning must be an important part of any development program. During the last two decades the less developed countries have increasingly begun to establish national priorities for population planning. Among these countries, national population policy has emerged as the mechanism for the formulation and implementation of national population priorities and goals.

These chapters on population policy seek answers to some questions: What are some of the national policy priorities? How are they implemented? How successful have they been? What is the role of international agencies in the implementation of population policy? What are some of the legal and ethical issues surrounding the implementation of population policies? In the selection of chapters for the book there is an emphasis on the Asian region which has been most active in the development and implementation of population policy. However, some effort has been made to achieve geographical balance. The chapters selected include a variety of views on population policy and population planning.

The essays raise several issues for discussion by population policymakers and researchers. The experience of countries like China and India and smaller countries like Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Thailand demonstrates that both socioeconomic development as well as aggressive national population policies and programs could result in declines in birth rates. However, programs that are very restrictive and . . .

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