Compulsory sterilization, also known as forced or coerced sterilization, programs are government policies which attempt to force people to undergo surgical or other sterilization.The reasons governments implement sterilization programs vary in purpose and intent.In the first half of the 20th century, several such programs were instituted in countries around the world, usually as part of eugenics programs intended to prevent the reproduction of members of the population considered to be carriers of defective genetic traits. The last is counted as an act of genocide under the Statute of Rome.
In May 2014, the World Health Organization, OHCHR, UN Women, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF issued a joint statement on Eliminating forced, coercive and otherwise involuntary sterilization, An interagency statement.
The report references the involuntary sterilization of a number of specific population groups.
They include: Human population control is the practice of artificially altering the rate of growth of a human population.
Historically, human population control has been implemented by limiting the population's birth rate, usually by government mandate, and has been undertaken as a response to factors including high or increasing levels of poverty, environmental concerns, religious reasons, and overpopulation.
While population control can involve measures that improve people's lives by giving them greater control of their reproduction, some programs have exposed them to exploitation.
Widespread or systematic forced sterilization has been recognized as a Crime against Humanity by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in the explanatory memorandum.
This memorandum defines the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.
Rebecca Lee wrote in the Berkeley Journal of International Law that, as of 2015, twenty-one Council of Europe member states require proof of sterilization in order to change one's legal sex categorization.
Lee wrote that requiring sterilization is a human rights violation and LGBT specific international treaties may need to be developed in order to protect LGBT human rights.
Two Canadian provinces (Alberta and British Columbia) performed compulsory sterilization programs in the 20th century with eugenic aims.
Canadian compulsory sterilization operated via the same overall mechanisms of institutionalization, judgment, and surgery as the American system.