Infanticide by Chinese Reported U.N. Agency Concerned about Female Children

Article excerpt

A United Nations human rights committee called on China Friday to combat infanticide of girls and expressed alarm over "very high mortality rates" in welfare institutions such as orphanages.

The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child also expressed serious concern about the sale and sexual exploitation of youths in China and execution for crimes committed by children under the age of 18.

"It is the Committee's view that family planning policy must be designed to avoid any threat to the life of children, particularly girls," it said in an eight-page report on China.

"The state party (China) is urged to take further action for the maintenance of strong and comprehensive measures to combat the abandonment and infanticide of girls as well as the trafficking, sale and kidnapping or abduction of girls."

It was the first time the U.N. body, charged with monitoring compliance with the 1990 Convention on the Rights of the Child, examined practices in the world's most populous country. China is among the pact's 187 signatory states.

The 10 independent experts recommended that Beijing name someone to investigate children's rights complaints and also improve training and monitoring of staff at welfare institutions such as orphanages.

The committee asked Chinese authorities to report back on several areas of concern by December 1997 - even though the next periodic report would only be due in 2001.

The experts issued their conclusions on six countries after holding three-week talks in Geneva. …