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  1. 1

    Population and human rights in Africa.

    United Nations. Economic Commission for Africa

    In: The population debate: dimensions and perspectives. Papers of the World Population Conference, Bucharest, 1974. Volume II, compiled by United Nations. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. New York, New York, United Nations, 1975. 416-28. (Population Studies No. 57; ST/ESA/SER.A/57)

    Human rights relating to population questions in Africa cannot be divorced from the meaning and implications of human rights in all other spheres. In developing Africa, many important population issues implicate human rights: the welfare of children, youths, the aged, and women; regulation of the levels and patterns of fertility; mortality, morbidity; and migration, internal as well as external, including refugee movements; family welfare and marriage; problems of employment, wages, equal pay, and working hours; access to adequate education and means for cultural expression and identity; and problems of family planning in relation to mother and child care. The relationship between human rights and fertility involves: 1) the rights relating to marriage and the family, specifically to enhance the legal status of women in the home, community, and in national development; and 2) the rights to freely and responsibly decide the number and spacing of children, including the increase, as well as the decrease in fertility. Migration, population distribution, and human rights have been promoted and respected in varying degrees, depending on each country's internal and external policies. Internal migration, distribution, and settlement in nearly all the independent African countries have resulted in rapid urbanization despite inadequate infrastructure. To counter the overurbanization, many support the spreading of development projects throughout the entire country promoting balanced development between rural and urban areas. Historically international migration was customary; with the advent of sovereignty, crossing borders even among related ethnic groups has come under close scrutiny. The international community has come to accept responsibility for protecting and caring for refugees. Human rights, morbidity, mortality, and health care include the right to good health and freedom from disease and sickness, the right to food and freedom from hunger and malnutrition. Increased action at national and international levels is necessary to encourage the governments of Africa to promote the realization of human rights with respect to current and projected population trends.
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  2. 2

    [Population policies and programs worldwide and in Rwanda] Politiques et programmes de population dans le monde et au Rwanda.

    Semana E


    The equilibrium between population and the earth was already recognized in ancient India and China. One of the reasons for colonialization was the need to get rid of surplus populations. The 20th century has witnessed an explosion in population growth, and the United Nations created a fund in 1969 to deal with this problem. In 1974 a global action program was drafted in Bucharest followed by a conference in Arusha in 1984 drafting an African action program, and an international conference in Mexico in 1984. The colonial population programs in Rwanda stressed economic and sanitary incentives as well as migration which was stopped in 1954 and resumed after independence. Under the 2nd development plan, the National Office of Population (ONAPO) was created in 1981. Its functions included the promotion of maternal and child health and the spacing of births. During the 2nd plan the growth rate was 3.7%, while under the previous plan it had been 2.6%. A 3rd plan was devised with the objective of holding the increase of growth at 3.7% and to reduce it rapidly after 1986, delaying the birth of the 1st child for the 15-24 age group, and limiting births by women over age 40. A 4th plan is being prepared whose main objective is to regulate fertility and promote agricultural output. A 1983 national survey showed that 25% of pregnancies could be avoided and the ideal of 6.3 children/woman instead of 8.6 could be achieved if they had access to family planning. 31% were willing to use contraceptives and 20.3% did not want more children.
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