|A családtervezés és jövő generációk emberi jogai / Human rights approach to reproductive health, family planning and future generations|
Why overpopulation is the key?
Impact (pressure to environment, to biocapacity of the area) =
Population * Affluence (consumption per capita) * Technology (environmental impact per unit of consumption).
To get out from environmental crisis we need all three:
(1) decline of earth’s population,
(2) moderation in consumption
(3) technical progress.
But out of the three factors, overpopulation is the critical question, at least for seven reasons:
(1) For the Earth it’s the same pressure, but a huge difference from the humanitarian point of view, if 9 billion people shuffle in pressed crowd, or 1.2 billion live in comfort and with healthier minds (for example, sometimes there is a chance to see unspoiled landscape).
(2) People want it! In general, no one wants to reduce consumption, but for hundreds of millions small family size is just a dream. Unfortunately, family planning is still the privilege of the rich.
(3) The most cost-effective! 7 USD is one ton of CO2, one fifth of the more green energy technologies. „Family planning is the greater benefit, for more people at a lesser expense than any other technology that is available to mankind." (James Grant, UNICEF)
(4) Human rights are a basic question! If there wasn’t an ecological crisis and overpopulation, family planning would still be a fundamental human right presently and for future generations. That way they can conceive as many children as they desire themselves. Merely by ensuring women’s rights, rapid results can be achieved in the halting of overpopulation.
(5) Overpopulation has a great inertia; braking distances can be measured only in decades. In disastrous situations consumption can be held back drastically (population behaves as “gas", always filling the available space, and collapsing until liquefaction), but one cannot suddenly cut off population. An epidemic, famine, war, can decrease the population suddenly.
(6) Overconsumption, or rather the "obtrude" society, is driven by population explosion: labor becomes more and more cheap, people have to sell themselves, or anything else, to obtrude on others. The more cruel global labor market competition will increase force, not improving life quality but merely allowing staying in competition, and consumption.
(7) According to the Nobel Prize laureate Konrad Lorenz, humanity's number one deadly sin is overpopulation, because it leads to an increase in aggression, to more and more social disruption and makes everything more difficult.
Human rights approach to reproductive health, family planning and future generations
Family planning is a basic human right (see UN conference, 1968, Teheran).
a, the right to get information (not only about sexuality and contraception, but also about the demographic and ecological situation, and about global and long-term trends, since having children is a decision you make for decades).
b, the right of the family planning competence education
c, the right to have available means to make grounded decisions and to prevent unwanted conceptions.
Unwanted conceptions often cause a disadvantageous situation for the couple (especially for the woman) as well as for their already born children, but especially for the child to be born.
As well as every other right, the basic right of family planning can only be asserted, if it doesn’t break the basic human rights of the other people. In this case couples have to take into account that every member of the future generations has the right to
- be born as a wanted child, in particular to be wanted for himself/herself (not for reasons like economic, national, religious, relational, partnership related, psychic etc. interests of the others.
- the chance to say when grown up: I couldn’t have wished for more loving parents, a better time and place to have been born.
(Wanted child, wanted parents principle)
Charter of basic rights and needs of children (Collectif I.C.E.M.: Perepectives d’ education populaire Maspero. Paris. 1979. 63.65.p.)
First in the world, Hungary has parliamentary commissioner of the future generations. The interests of the future generations have to be taken into account in decision making.
Couples shouldn’t ask if they want children or not. They should ask: does this child really want to be born by us and at the present time?
Even material considerations can be positive: people foresee, instinctively feel the supersaturation of their nearer and further place of living, so they think it over, if they can keep one more child for two decades, and if the Earth can keep that child for 7-8 decades.
It results from the above two rights, that it is our social duty to provide satisfactory education and reachable (free) family planning means, etc.
For example in the Dutch model, they managed to decrease the number of abortions and teenage pregnancies well below the European average, not by prohibition and moralization, but by education and sharing information.
These rights are also valid when there is no overpopulation and ecological crisis!
Szerző: Simonyi Gyula