Next we’re heading to China where the Government has just announced the end of a controversial law called the One Child Policy. For many years it stopped most Chinese families from having more than one kid. Here’s Eloise to explain why it was brought in and why it’s now being removed.
In Australia, families come in all different sizes.
KID 1: There’s five kids in my family.
KID 2: I’ve got one brother and one sister.
KID 3: I’ve got four sisters and I’m the only brother.
KID 4: My parents have three children.
KID 5: I’ve got no brothers or sisters.
KID 6: I got two children in my family, my brother and me.
But imagine if the number of brothers and sisters you had wasn’t your parent’s decision but the Government’s! Well, that’s what it was like in China for more than 30 years, because of something called the one-child policy.
Back in the 1960’s China’s population was growing really quickly, and by the late 70’s it had hit a massive 950 million people. But this made the Chinese Government really worried. They were afraid that with all of these people they might run out of food and jobs for them.
So they came up with a radical plan- the one-child policy. From 1980 many Chinese people were outlawed from having more than one baby. Any that did were slapped with huge fines. And if they couldn’t pay there were reports of other punishments too.
WOMAN: They’d have their house pulled down. If they didn’t pull down your house, they’d take away all your timbers and horse carts.
Some people in China say it helped the economy boom, and allowed people to become more prosperous. But around the world, many people thought it was really controversial. Because choosing how many kids you want to have is often seen as a basic human right.
Over the years experts say the one-child policy has caused some other problems too. In China today there are millions more boys than girls, because culturally they were seen as more valuable to the family. So many of those boys might not have anyone to marry when they get older.
But what really started to worry China’s Government is that there are now more old people in the country than young people. Which means there might not be enough young people in the future to keep working and look after the old.
So now the Chinese Government has announced that it’s relaxing its one-child policy. And soon people will be allowed to have two kids, instead of just one!
In China, many people welcomed the news.
MAN: I’m too old but it’s good the next generation can have two kids.
But some experts aren’t sure whether many Chinese families will actually want more children, now that they are used to growing up alone. And others think it might be too late to fix some of the problems the policy first created anyway.
But for those families that do choose to expand to two kids, they might have to get ready for a lot more of this at home.
KID 1: I always get a headache because my siblings are too noisy. (男女の別をつけない)兄弟
KID 2: My brother is always annoying because he always kicks me.
KID 3: My brother and me always fight!