July 2, 2003
Volume 5/ Number 17
As evidence of the UN Population Fund’s complicity in coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization mounts, the embattled agency’s defenders are growing increasingly strident—and increasingly out of touch with reality.
They claim that UNFPA did not help manage Fujimori’s infamous involuntary sterilization campaign, a charge that the Human Rights Commission of the Peruvian Congress has just reaffirmed. They claim that UNFPA does not support China’s forced abortion program, ignoring a U.S. State Department finding that UNFPA is helping China to carry out forced abortion “more effectively.” Refusing to examine the evidence, population control-minded officials in New Zealand, Ireland, and elsewhere attack Population Research Institute by name.
Steven W. Mosher
UNFPA Fabrications Snare New Zealand Official
The UNFPA, reeling from charges of financial irregularities (1) and a shrinking donor base, continues to cover up its participation in some of the most coercive population control schemes ever seen on the planet. Some foreign government officials, like Marian L. Hobbs, New Zealand’s Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, have fallen for this denial and deception campaign. They parrot UNFPA’s claims without examining the evidence, and continue to funnel taxpayer money to the now-discredited organization.
In a letter explaining her decision to continue to fund UNFPA, Ms. Hobbs disputes charges made against UNFPA by the U.S. State Department and the Peruvian Congress.
In June 2002, an investigative commission of the Peruvian Congress released an exhaustive report on the forced sterilization campaign of ex-President Alberto Fujimori. The commission detailed how the campaign employed coercion to fill quotas for sterilizations, and how it was linked to, and financed by, international organizations. Fujimori was guilty of genocide, the commission concluded, and the UNFPA had served as “technical secretary” of this genocidal campaign.(2)
Hobbs, in her letter, claims that this report was “never adopted” by the Peruvian Congress, “nor any of its Congressional Committees or
This claim is false.
On June 10, 2003, the Human Rights Commission of the Peruvian Congress defended, supported and adopted the AQV report by a vote of 5-0 with one abstention.
“We are going to adopt it,” said the President of Peru’s Human Rights Commission, Congresswoman Dora Nunez, “and we are going to send it [to the full Congress and to the Attorney General]… So, Congressmen who are in favor of this proposal, please raise your hands. Approved by
Far from being rejected, the report has now been approved by this important congressional committee concerned with human rights.
Hobbs wrongly claims that UNFPA’s role in Peru’s coercive sterilization campaign was limited to serving as a coordinator of a now-defunct “board of donors” of population programs. This claim, too, is false.
The fact is, UNFPA provided the Fujimori government with millions to carry out forced sterilization, and funneled millions more into channels that carried out coercive sterilization. As the AQV report charges, the coercive sterilization campaigns “executed by the Peruvian government [under Fujimori] were induced and financed by international organizations, especially… the United Nations Population Fund.”(5)
The UNFPA was appointed the Technical Secretary of Fujimori’s national coercive sterilization campaign by a special act of the Fujimori government. As the commission reports, the UNFPA “brought not only special financing but also demographic goals, for the focused reduction of the Peruvian population and the fertility of Peruvian women, especially the women of rural areas…. For that end, the United Nations Population Fund act[ed] as Technical Secretary.”(6)
UNFPA served as a national clearinghouse for international funds pouring into Peru aimed at fulfilling sterilization quotas through brute coercion. UNFPA itself has admitted that it has assisted Peru’s Ministry of Health to implement “the technical, managerial and evaluation of reproductive health services” in Peru, including sterilization.(7)
As far as China is concerned, Hobbs claims that the U.S. State Department “fully cleared UNFPA of charges that it supports force and coercion in the Chinese State Family Planning Commission.”(8)
But in fact, the U.S. State Department investigators in China found that “the 32 counties in which UNFPA is involved the population programs of the PRC retain coercive elements in law and practice.”(9)
The State Department team found that social compensation fees are imposed in UNFPA counties to coerce women to undergo abortions for “out of plan” births. (10)
Reviewing this evidence, the State Department concluded that: “UNFPA is helping improve the administration of the local family planning offices that are administering the very social compensation fees and other penalties that are effectively coercing women to have abortions.”(11)
On July 21, 2002, U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell, stated in writing in a letter to U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd that “UNFPA’s support of, and involvement in, China’s population planning activities allows the Chinese government to implement more effectively its program of coercive abortion.” Secretary Powell concluded that “in light of the Kemp-Kasten amendment, no funds… may be provided to UNFPA at this time.”(12)
Hobbs also attacks PRI. “The New Zealand Government finds it difficult to take seriously claims from the group which originally laid charges of human rights abuses against UNFPA. The Population Research Institute (PRI)… is not a neutral judge of UNFPA’s activities.”(13)
But PRI has been monitoring UNFPA’s activities for years, and has compiled an impressive body of evidence about abuses. In 1996 and 1999, PRI brought victims of the UNFPA-supported forced sterilization campaign in Peru to the U.S. to testify before the U.S. Congress and elsewhere. Women told stories of how they had been rounded up like animals and sterilized by force. Family members of victims told Congress of how women had died of infection following forced sterilization.
In September 2002, PRI investigators risked arrest by entering China to interview victims of forced abortion in a county where UNFPA operates and claims coercion has ended. Over two-dozen victims and witnesses stated on record that abuses are as bad today in this UNFPA “model county” program as ever in the history of China’s one-child policy. Abuses include: forced abortion, forced sterilization, mandatory use of IUDs, crippling fines for non-compliance, imprisonment for non-compliance, imprisonment of relatives and destruction of homes and property for non-compliance.
This evidence, and much more, demonstrates conclusively that the UNFPA is involved in programs of forced abortion and forced sterilization around the world. In ignoring this evidence, and attacking the human rights organization that gathered it, Ms. Hobbs reveals her own injudicious temper. Would that she were a neutral judge.
1. Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, Friday Fax, June 27, 2003, Vol. 6, Number 27, “New UN audit reveals massive irregularities at UNFPA.”
2. Subcomision Investigadora de Personas e Institutiones en las Acciones de Anticoncepcion Quirurigica Voluntaria (AQV), Peruvian Congress, June 2002.
3. Letter of the Honorable Marian L. Hobbs, New Zealand’s Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, June 2003.
4. “Acta de la Vigesimo Tercera Sesion de la Comision de Derechos Humanos,” Peruvian Congress, June 10, 2003.
7. UNFPA, Recommendation by the Executive Director: Assistance to the Government of Peru.
9. Letter from the U.S. State Dept. Delegation to China to U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell, May 29, 2002.
10. Memorandum of Conversation: Between UNFPA/China Assessment Team and Pingba Co. Dep. Magistrate, May 18, 2002; and Sihui City Deputy Mayor, May 23, 2002; U.S. State Department Delegation To China, “Report of the China UNFPA Independent Assessment Team,” May 29, 2002; for instance, in Rongchang County, Sichuan Province, where UNFPA operates, the Deputy County Magistrate, He Guangyu, stated that social compensation fees are as high as 8,000 yuan. In Pingba County, Guizhou County, Ms. Ying Li, Deputy County Magistrate, told the delegation that “social compensation fees were an important disincentive for couples….” In Sihui, Guangdong Province, Mr. Huang Zhemin, Deputy Mayor, told the delegation that “social compensation fees are levied to compensate the government for the extra expenses incurred…by extra children.”
11. Analysis of Determination that Kemp-Kasten Amendment Precludes Further Funding to UNFPA under Pub. L. 107-115, US State Dept., July 21, 2002.