Indian campaigner seeks US support against sex selection

Washington, Sep 11 (IANS) An Indian campaigner wants the US government ban Internet companies like Google from advertising and legitimising new technologies of sex selection in India.

"Sex selection tourism is worse than trafficking," Sabu M George, a member of India's Campaign Against Sex Selection, told a House panel Tuesday accusing Google of "carrying advertisements targeting the privileged Indians for sex selection to Dubai, Thailand, US, and Europe."

At a hearing on "India's Missing Girls," he also asked the US Congress to "motivate India to stop targeting women for sterilisation and ensure that coercive family planning practices are abandoned."

Smaller families in India "will not be achieved by even more elimination of girls if population control does not take place voluntarily," said the campaigner who documented the spread of sex selection in rural Haryana. George said he was making the appeal to the US Congress as the American government and foundations, institutions headed by Americans like World Bank have spent up to 60 years advocating and funding population control measures in India.

"More girls in India and China are eliminated every year than the number of girls born in US," he told the House Foreign Affairs committee's subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights & International Organisations.

"Over the last decade, 6 million plus girls were eliminated before birth in India; this is more than the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust by the Nazis," said George calling rampant sex selection in recent decades a "genocide."

George cited American researcher Mara Hvistendahl to highlight the role of Americans and global population control lobbies in introducing sex selection in 1970 into India for population control.

Another witness, Mallika Dutt, president, Breakthrough, a global human rights organization, also asked the US to assume a position of global leadership in confronting the underlying factors that foster gender discrimination.

As gender discrimination is a global pandemic that requires multi-faceted interventions, she made a plea to sustain US investments in global health and development, which are critical to delivering vital services to women and girls to secure their human rights.

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