The United Nations on Thursday condemned the Myanmar government imposing a two-child limit on Muslim families.
The UN issued a statement saying that the ban is a violation of fundamental human rights and called on Myanmar officials to put an end to such practices.
Myanmar authorities stated that the limit has been imposed to stem so-called rapid population growth in Muslim families and is likely to fuel further criticism that Muslims are being discriminated against in the Buddhist-majority country.
Myanmar is the only country in the world to impose such a restriction on a religious group.
China has a one-child policy, but it is not based on religion and exceptions apply to minority ethnic groups. India briefly practiced forced sterilization of men in a bid to control the population in the mid-1970s, but a nationwide outcry quickly shut down the program.
Rakhine state spokesman Win Myaing said, “The population growth of Rohingya Muslims is 10 times higher than that of the Rakhine [Buddhists],” claiming, “Overpopulation is one of the causes of tension.”
Hundreds of Rohingyas were killed and thousands displaced in recent attacks by extremist Buddhists.