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One-child policy

BEIJING — China’s top legislative committee is set to formalize landmark reforms to unpopular decades-old policies including abolishing “reeducation through labor” camps and increasing exceptions to the one-child limit.

The ruling Communist Party announced the long-sought changes among a raft of pledges after a key gathering in November.

China introduced re-education through labor in 1957 as a speedy way to handle petty offenders, but the system – which allows a police panel to issue sentences of up to four years without going to trial – soon became rife with abuse.

Reforms being considered to the one-child policy – imposed more than three decades ago to prevent overpopulation – would allow couples where either parent has no siblings to have two children. (AFP)