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We call on governments and the international community to recognise the role that population size plays in the issues facing humanity and to incorporate consideration of population in discussions of biodiversity, climate change, conflict, migration, poverty reduction and resource security. In emerging discussions on Sustainable Development Goals, we should seek to include a goal or goals promoting a reduction in population growth.
We also ask governments to acknowledge the undesirable consequences for their citizens of increasing population density: housing shortages, falling residential property sizes, traffic congestion, transport overcrowding, pollution, loss of amenity and unspoilt areas, and water, food, energy and mineral security issues. We also call on governments to assign responsibility for population to a nominated individual.
For the UK, we ask the government to commit to keeping the population below 70 million.
International aid - We call for governments to use their influence to ensure that family planning receives 10 per cent of both unilateral and multilateral aid from bodies such as the EU and UN.
Aid by the UK government - We are calling for the government to keep its promise, which is supported by the opposition, to make a legal commitment to allocate 0.7 per cent of GDP to foreign development aid by 2013. At the moment, the legislation is promised but not timetabled. If you are a UK resident, consider writing to your MP to maintain the pressure.
The UK's Department for International Development has made gender equality and reproductive health in general, and family planning in particular, a priority within the programme. However, we would like them to spend more in this area because it underpins progress in many other areas. We suggest that spending on family planning constitute at least 5 per cent of all aid. It is currently only 2 per cent.
Failed states - Failed states typically have high birth rates and high population growth. Conflict is a significant obstacle to effective family planning systems and the promotion of smaller families. Ask your government how it is contributing to reducing the number of failed states.
Education - We call for investment in sex and relationships education to ensure that all schools perform at the level of the best performers. In particular, we want those teaching the subject to have received specific training.
Teenage pregnancy - While births to those under 20 years of age typically account for only a small proportion of all births, births to teenage mothers can disrupt education and reduce career prospects, potentially resulting in disadvantaged and larger families. Early births also accelerate population growth.
Contraception - We support efforts to provide women throughout the world with free or low-cost contraceptive pills and emergency, so-called "morning after" contraception from legal pharmacies without the need for a prescription, as long as there is appropriate professional support, complete consultation privacy and all necessary provider training.
In vitro fertilization - We believe that subsidised in vitro fertilization should be provided only to those who do not already have a healthy child. Additionally, many treatment cycles result in multiple births and we support the One at a Time campaign to reduce this.
Abortion – We believe that the priority must be to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies through the provision of effective sex and relationship education, and appropriate, accessible and affordable family planning services. Safe and legal abortion services should be available as a last resort.
Sexual orientation – In a crowded world, we must separate the instinctive desire for sex from the consequences of ever more children. We support the right of people to have consensual sex with other adults. Same sex relationships are still a crime in 76 countries.
Sustainability can be achieved only if we protect the ecosystems on which we and members of other species depend for our very existence. This involves farming sustainably, protecting the health of seas, rivers and lakes and conserving the habitat of lions, elephants and members of threatened and endangered species.
We believe that seeking to preserve limited resources goes hand in hand with seeking to limit the unsustainable growth in human impact, and so support campaigns for environmental and resource protection.
Women in the world are very often disadvantaged politically, socially and economically, and sometimes disadvantaged legally. Empowering women would make a major contribution toward enabling them to decide freely on their family size.
Child marriage – Child marriage contributes to a lack of women's rights and can contribute to larger families. We support the Girls not Brides campaign to end child marriage.
Extreme inequality is incompatible with a sustainable future. We support measures to reduce gross inequalities in income and wealth.
Ensuring full employment – High birth rates and migration are justified by the alleged need for more workers, yet many people are unemployed or underemployed. We urge the provision of genuine training and apprentice schemes to match the existing population to employment opportunities. As people live longer, healthier lives, the retirement age should rise in parallel.
Encouraging sustainable development – Large families are often associated with low incomes. Those in poverty may be unable to afford contraception or feel that they need to use child labour to supplement household income. We support efforts to raise the poor of the world out of poverty.
View information about past campaigns.