Burma Minority Limited to 2 Kids

Now a top official supports local rule
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2013 8:50 AM CDT
Burma Minority Limited to 2 Kids
A Muslim girl sells a coconut in Sittwe, northwestern Rakhine State, Burma.   (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

(Newser) – Burmese officials last month "reaffirmed" a controversial two-child limit on minority Rohingya Muslims in two townships in Rakhine state, and now a top official has lent his support to the effort. "This will benefit the Bengali women," Immigration Minister Khin Yi tells Reuters, using the government term for the group. Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the United Nations oppose the rule, saying it violates human rights and discriminates against the Muslim group; health groups say it has triggered risky abortions.

Khin Yi defends the child limit: "Almost all of the Bengali women are very poor, uneducated. It is not easy to take care of the children. The two-child policy or three-child policy is enough for these people." CNN provides the backstory: The limit was first established in 2005, at which time Rohingyas who wanted to wed had to sign a pledge promising they'd cap their family at three kids; two years later, it was changed to two. Those women who do have a third often become subject to unrelenting extortion; the children are unregistered, meaning they can't go to school or even, one day, marry. A rep for the president says the policy is being reviewed. (Read more Myanmar stories.)

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