Children wearing face masks cross a road during a Lunar New Year of the Rat public holiday in Hong Kong on January 27, 2020, as a preventative measure following a coronavirus outbreak which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan. (ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images)
UPDATED 5:04 PM PT – Saturday, August 21, 2021
China formally amended its laws to allow families to have up to three children ahead of an impending demographic crisis that’s had a major effect on the nation’s economy. The Chinese legislature amended its restrictive Population and Family Planning Law on Friday amid a major decline in working age citizens of the communist nation.
Local news said the order was enacted to “actively deal with the aging population.” The amendment also includes provisions for additional paid leave and expanded childcare access for families.
The change comes amid backlash over China’s controversial one-child policy established in the 1980s. The rules were first revised in 2015 to allow for two children per family. Meanwhile, critics have claimed the policy was aimed at dictating the size of the population.