The Committee rejected the draft Resolution and proposed a draft recommendation to the Committee of Ministers

Paris, 21 September 2016

Today the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) rejected again a new draft resolution on surrogacy presented by the Belgian Senator Dr. Petra De Sutter (Socialist Group), proposing at the same time a draft recommendation to the Committee of Ministers to draw up “European guidelines to safeguard children’s rights in relation to surrogacy arrangements“.

This is just a draft recommendation, which will need another approval by the same Committee and the whole Assembly, during the next PACE plenary session, in Strasbourg (10-14 October), as announced by the Committee Secretariat. 

If this is a good news in the sense that the Committee didn’t approve any kind of acceptance of surrogacy, this also means that the Council of Europe would abstain to express a clear condemnation of this practice, which violates human dignity.

We don’t think that the Members of the Assembly will assume a coward attitude, but we trust they will take a strong stand against the practice of surrogacy, recommending all Member States to ban it“, affirms FAFCE President, Antoine Renard. In fact, the current text is really ambiguous, and remains very vague on how to really protect children’s rights and how to fight surrogacy. If children’s rights need to be safeguarded in relation to surrogacy arrangements, as the draft recommendation currently states, why not recommending to stop this kind of arrangements?

FAFCE President affirms that “We are concerned to see that the current draft does not address the core problems of a practice which makes the child a commodity and the woman an instrument. We call on the Members of the Assembly to listen to the 110.000 citizens who already requested to condemn all forms of surrogacy“. The No Maternity Traffic Petition, which was transmitted last March to the Assembly Bureau, called the Council of Europe “to condemn in clear terms all forms of surrogacy as constituting a violation of rights and human dignity”.

The draft recommendation is now available online, together with an explanatory memorandum by the Rapporteur. The date of the plenary vote (between 10-14 October) will be communicated in the next days. 

Nicola Speranza, Policy Officer
+32 (0)498 46 02 20