Vietnam rethinks contentious two-child policy

Al Jazeera

The Communist government of Vietnam is considering changing a law that restricts most families to two children.

Adjustments to the policy may happen this year in certain parts of the country, which has been in place on and off for decades and is being blamed for a looming population problem.

“We haven’t had to make any changes to the population policy yet and I don’t think we need a big change now but amendments only,” said Le Van Cuong, a government adviser.

“Ageing population is not putting pressure on today but it will come tomorrow.”

Vietnam’s population growth is slowing and ageing at one of the fastest rates in the world. In fact, the World Bank says the number of people in Vietnam who are 65 or older will triple by 2040.

Contributing to the problem is a low birth rate, which is exacerbated by a law that limits families to a maximum of two children.

The policy is not as striclty enforced as the one in China. However, there have been reports of forced sterilisations and punishments for breaking the law.

READ MORE: How has the end of its one-child policy affected China?

Population-control measures have sometimes been implemented since the 1960s. During the war and economic crisis, the government thought a population boom was the last thing it needed.

Last year the population grew 6.2 per cent – which was among the fastest in the world, but that was slower than the previous year. The government thinks more children could mean more economic security.

That security has already arrived for many families who believe they can now afford more children.

In Vietnam, it is often desirable to have boys, which has led to another problem, gender imbalance, and what is believed to be one of world’s highest abortion rates.

Nguyen Thu Huong and her husband have two girls and say they would be happy with a third.

“My little one says, ‘Mommy, please have another baby so we can have more fun’. Actually, we don’t mind having a boy or a girl,” Huong said.

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This entry was posted in Demography (Population) - Cấu tạo dân số and tagged , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage dotchuoinon.com on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development (cvdvn.net). I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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