Pakistan's Supreme Court Urges Rule Limiting Families to 2 Children
The government seeks a solution for the country’s overpopulation.
Pakistan is working to combat overpopulation and lift the country out of poverty.
The Supreme Court asked officials and leaders to take action on population control and encourage families to only have two children on Tuesday, the Times of India reports.
"The increasing population is a burden on the country's resources. It is about the future of the next generation,” the court said.
Poverty is considered to be the leading cause of overpopulation. Lack of education and higher death rates in poverty-stricken countries lead families to keep trying to have healthy babies.
Health Secretary Captain Zahid Saeed said a plan is in place to decrease the population growth rate to 1.5% by 2025, but no concrete solutions are in place yet.
Assemblymember Agha Siraj Durrani said Pakistani culture encourages women to have big families despite the lack of resources in the country.
Back in 1968, the UN declared, “parents have a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and the spacing of their children.” The two-child limit could potentially infringe on that freedom.
Research shows if women delay childbirth and increase spacing between their children with family planning, population growth rates decline.
During the court session, some religious leaders from the Muslim-majority country opposed contraception to reduce poverty and proposed investing in youth instead.
Many Pakistani children are currently underserved. The Pakistan Medical Association said in a statement that 25 million kids are not going to school and 90% of the population is not provided with clean drinking water. Malnutrition and food scarcity are also concerns.
“It is not possible for a poor man to feed a dozen children and provide education and other facilities. We can only compete in the world when you have mentally and physically healthy people in society,” Minister for Women Development Shehla Raza said.