CHSJ works to advocate for reproductive and sexual health and rights, particularly by opposing the two child norm. In India the two child norm restrictions, especially with respect to political participation at the Panchayat level, are part of the policy reality in many states. However such policies not only militate against civil and political rights, but also discriminate against the very poor by preventing them from using government schemes and benefits. In 2006, CHSJ teamed up with SAHAYOG to initiate a process of advocacy action in the Empowered Action Group (EAG) states with a focus on Bihar and Jharkhand. It supported local organisations to develop an advocacy campaign on the two-child norm.
With CHSJ as secretariat, the National Coalition Against Two-Child Norm and Coercive Population Policies was formed as an outcome of concerns around population control and related coercion and for promoting policies that empower people to exercise their reproductive rights and choices. It is aimed at strengthening of civil society partnership to voice people’s concerns collectively. This Coalition is a non-registered and non-party group consisting of individuals and organizations who believe in human rights and particularly reproductive and civil rights of all individuals and are willing to take action to address and redress violation of these rights among vulnerable and affected individuals and groups.
Aims, Objectives and Strategies:
To educate and share information among different stakeholders on issues related to population and development.
To build awareness and consensus among different stakeholders about the principles of reproductive rights.
To collect and share evidence and materials related to reproductive rights and coercive population policies.
To advocate with different policy stakeholders at the national and state level to conduct and/or collaborate with documentation and research exercises.
To monitor the policy environment at the national and in state levels.
CHSJ also published a study Responding to the Two Child Norm, in 2010. It is the result of a study conducted by a MPH student from University of Washington to understand the state level actors and factors that support and resist coercive population policies and to understand the processes which are responsible for continued support or resistance to such policies. The review, which covered Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh, aims to strengthen the ongoing advocacy action around the two child norm in India.