Peru Women : Sterilisations

Sterilisations

A CLADEM report released in 1999 found that forced sterilisations were being performed by Peruvian health staff who, were given financial incentives to fulfil quotas for the operations. The report alleges that as part of a wider population control campaign to lower the birth rate to 2.5 children per woman, the Peruvian government "established targets at national level for the use of surgical methods of birth control".

This was finally recognised by the government in July 2002 when they released a report stating that over 200,000 people in rural Peru were pressured into being sterilised during the government of former president Alberto Fujimori. The figures show that between 1996 and 2000, 215,227 women, and 16,547 men - mostly from poor indigenous communities - underwent sterilisation operations. Then health minister Fernando Carbone said the government gave misleading information, bribed people with offers of food and threatened to fine men and women if they had more children. Carbone has called for a thorough investigation and promised punishment for those responsible. The report found that there was inadequate evaluation before surgery and little after-care. Procedures were negligent and less than half were carried out with a proper anaesthetist.

Sterilisation of women is no longer being carried out in a systematic way. However there are concerns about the way in which sterilisations are carried out in some places. In some cases sterilisations are granted to women under 25 and some women are not given the lawful 72 hours between being offered and informed about the sterilisation and the operation. Many are not fully informed about the operation, and many have suffered due to a lack of aftercare. There are still cases of women being sterilised without their consent.