The UN Population Fund’s Dirty Little Secret

Apr 20, 2019 by

by Stefano Gennarini, C-Fam:

Even after decades of human rights abuses from coercive population control, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), continues to emphasize population control and to impose population control targets on countries all around the world.

The one-billion-dollar agency backed by Nordic countries, Canada and the United Kingdom, says its mission is to help women make their own choices when it comes to motherhood. But its programming is designed almost exclusively to steer women to preventing or ending motherhood through contraception and abortion.

The population control bias is plain in the latest iteration of UNFPA’s flagship annual State of the World’s Population. The report, titled “Unfinished Business: The Pursuit of Rights and Choices for All”, was released early this year in order to mark UNFPA’s fiftieth anniversary and influence a UNFPA conference in Nairobi this November.

The UNFPA report tells the story of the population control and family planning movement without ever distancing UNFPA from population control. It glosses over the many million women who were forcibly sterilized or forced to abort their children as a direct result of UNFPA’s work.

The report merely notes that international policy has moved from a “target” approach to population control to one based on women’s “empowerment.” If that were true, it would indeed be a good thing. But so long as UNFPA promotes contraceptive use targets and women don’t have the option of a safe pregnancy and delivery, UNFPA’s promises of choice ring hollow.

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