China Ponders Wisdom of Labor Camps, 1-Child Policy
Following a four-day meeting of party leaders, China’s ruling Communist Party appears set to make changes to an enduring policy that limits most families to a single child, as well as do away with a “guilty because we said so” labor camp system that holds more than 300,000 prisoners, many of them government critics, for up to four years without a trial.
Change is slow to come in this communist superpower, but it appears that change is coming nonetheless. A longstanding population control policy prevented a couple from having more than one child unless both parents were an only child. The new policy relaxes that stipulation slightly, allowing a family to have a second child if even one of the parents was an only child. An unintended and unfortunate side effect of the restriction is a much smaller young labor pool left to support a huge Baby Boom generation that is retiring.
And to the relief of dissidents everywhere, the party leaders decided to banish a “re-education through labor” policy that led to the formation of 310 labor camps existing outside the legal system. Initially used to punish critics of communism, these labor camps had become a tool for local officials to confine citizens for a variety of “offenses.” (Derek Dowell – VNN) (Image: Flickr | Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library)