Is compulsory sterilization of women carried out in Belarus?

2009 2009-05-14T17:09:40+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

78 per cent of asocial women in Niasvizh district were inserted intrauterine devices or sterilized.

The European Radio in Belarus has learnt this from the local district executive committee. The committee noted it was a voluntary and free procedure. Nevertheless, 12 children have been born to asocial mothers in the district this year.

As Belorusskiy Partizan learnt, sterilization is regulated by an instruction of the Ministry of Health Care.

The official indications for sterilization are:

– three or more children;

– age over 30 and 2 children;

– age over 35 for women and over 45 for men;

– repeated cesarean section when a woman has children;

– malignant neoplasms in past;

– mental diseases and special medical conditions.

According to the document, antisocial lifestyle is not an indication for sterilization. Besides, the regulation of the Ministry of Health provides for sterilization of both women and men. One can only guess why only women are being sterilized in Niasvizh district. Belarusian officials haven’t given a clear definition of ‘antisocial lifestyle’. Taking into account the Belarusian traditions, any person may be put in this category. Bear in mind that the authorities have already attempted to take children away from opposition activists, though they were not drinkers or spongers.

Besides, according to some sources, Niasvizh is not the only town where sterilization campaign has been started. This unspoken instruction has been sent all over Belarus.