Uzbekistan is a dangerous country in which to uncover evidence of government wrongdoing; but reporting for the BBC World Service, Natalia Antelava has exposed a state campaign of forced sterilisation.
The Karimov regime is a notoriously unpleasant one, but what the BBC coverage doesn’t mention is that there is nothing exceptional about the abuse of human rights as part of a population control campaign.
Writing for the New Atlantis, Robert Zubrin blames an “ideology of antihumanism” for what he calls a “population control holocaust”. He seeks to justify these strongest of words by documenting the methods regularly used to reduce birth rates in developing nations around the world. The charge sheet includes forced abortion and sterilisation; the medically negligent use of untrained staff and unsterilised equipment; and the selective use of population measures as a tool of oppression and even genocide:
- “In Peru, the Spanish-speaking descendants of the conquistadors have directed the country’s population control program toward the goal of stemming the reproduction of the darker non-Hispanic natives. In Kosovo, the Serbs used population control against the Albanians, while in Vietnam the Communist government has targeted the population control effort against the Hmong ethnic minority, America’s former wartime allies. In China, the Tibetan and Uyghur minorities have become special targets of the government’s population control effort, with multitudes of the latter rounded up for forced abortions and sterilizations. In South Africa under apartheid, the purpose of the government-run population control program went without saying… There should be nothing surprising in any of this. Malthusianism has always been closely linked to racism, because the desire for population control has as its foundation the hatred of others.”
Zubrin alleges that many of the human rights violations have taken place within programmes funded by western governments, international bodies and family planning NGOs. If just part of what he says is true then what has taken place is a global scandal of monumental proportions.
Clearly, both Zubrin and the New Atlantis have their own ideological axes to grind, but that is all the more reason for other journalists to investigate. When it came to the scandal of clergy abuse in the Catholic Church, the mainstream media were relentless in their pursuit of the story. One wonders whether we can expect similar dedication when it comes to the quintessentially ‘progressive’ cause of population control.