This web site contains a database of summaries and excerpts of legislation, constitutions, court decisions, and other official government documents from every country in the world relating to population policies, reproductive rights and health, women's status and rights, children and adolescents, HIV/AIDS and related topics.  The period covered by the database is 1974 through the present (2008-).

The web site also contains files on specific topics reproducing the laws from selected countries in the world dealing with these topics.  At present, there are files on abortion laws, population policies, domestic violence, children and adolescents, HIV/AIDS, women's human rights, trafficking, and female genital mutilation.  In addition, the web site contains files on all population-related laws from specific countries.


Database history

Search database

Abortion laws

Children and adolescents laws

Population policies

Domestic violence laws


Women's human rights

Female genital mutilation laws

Trafficking laws

Vaccination laws

Recent Major Developments

Laws by country


Related sites


Database history

The Annual Review of Population Law database on law and population is the culmination of a twenty-year effort to make available to the public important legal information relating to the regulation of population growth and distribution. The database had its genesis in the 1974 World Population Conference. At the conclusion of the Conference, the participants adopted a Plan of Action which included the recommendation that laws having a direct or indirect impact on the rate of population growth be closely monitored. This recommendation led to the creation of the Annual Review of Population Law, which was designed to record, in either full-text or summary fashion, legal measures adopted by the countries of the world in this area.

The major focus of the initial volumes of the Annual Review of Population Law was on issues relating directly with reproduction, such as family planning, contraception, maternal-child health care, sterilization, termination of pregnancy, family relations, and social welfare benefits. As the years progressed and the complexity of factors affecting population growth became clearer, the scope of the publication gradually widened. At present, it also contains sections on immigration, assisted reproduction, sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS/HIV, and agrarian reform. It pays particular attention to women's rights and attempts to record every major legal development relating to the status of women.

In 1984, the editors of the Annual Review of Population Law decided to create a database in which to store information that would appear in the printed volumes of the publication. This database was designed to allow information to be searched by country, subject, and date of legislation. In the following years, the editors also decided to convert back volumes to database format so that the entire run of the Annual Review of Population Law could be easily searched. It is this database that is posted at this web site. Although publication of printed volumes ended in 2000, the database continues to be updated on a regular basis.



Requests for information should be addressed to Reed Boland at

Related sites

The following are some other sites that you might find of interest.


1.      United Nations Population Fund

2.      Cornell Law School, Legal Information Institute

3.      Washington University School of Law, WashLaw WEB


5.      International Labour Organization NATLEX database

6.      Australasian Legal Information Institute

7.      UN Population Programme


Top of Form

Bottom of Form


While the Annual Review of Population Law makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information that it provides, its database and legislative files are unofficial sources and are not intended to replace direct consultation of the official legal sources. The Annual Review of Population Law makes no guarantees or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness, or currency of the information appearing on or linked to its web site.