'Wombs for Hire' defeated at CoE, on the HCCH agenda this week

'Wombs for Hire' defeated at CoE, on the HCCH agenda this week
On March 15th in Paris the Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development Committee formed by 81 representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) rejected on a discussion held strictly in camera a draft report on Human Rights and ethical issues related to Surrogacy. The Council of Europe (CoE) brings together parliamentarians from 47 Member States. This very tight voted decision implies that neither the commercial nor altruistic surrogacy is seen as legitimate regarding women’s human rights.

Women of the World Platform team has monitored the Committee's activity by contacting with its members for warning them about the bias and interest's conflicts on the person in charge of drafting the report, the Rapporteur Ms. Petra de Sutter. 

Furthermore within The Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) a group of 21 experts on Parentage/Surrogacy legal matters met a few weeks ago for working on a common framework of this issue to be presented at the Council on General Affairs and Policy of the Conference that has gathered together this week.

On behalf of Women or the World Platform we sent to each expert delegate a folder that contained a letter* describing briefly our aims and concerns on this topic, a printed copy of our Report Surrogate Motherhood, Wombs for Hire. A new way of exploiting women and human trafficking, and the International Statement of Experts for the Abolition of Surrogacy launched by Professionals for the Ethics and distributed by many of our other Partners.

The HCCH Principal Legal Officer confirmed us that the relevant material mentioned above was delivered on time and was distributed by hand to each Expert as to the Observers representatives from: Council of Europe, Internationals Social Services, and International Academy of Family Lawyers.The outcome of the Experts meeting including their identity was recently published and in conclusion they could not find a common solution once again. It can be taken as an advance paragraph 15 of the published document: The Group noted that surrogacy arrangements are prohibited in some States, permitted in other States and unregulated in others. The Group recognised concerns at the international level regarding the public policy considerations of all those involved with surrogacy arrangements, including, for example, the uncertain legal status of children and the potential for exploitation of women, including surrogate mothers.

Although the absolute ban of surrogacy worldwide is still very far from becoming a reality this small battles can be the path to win the war someday. Thanks for your support. 

 *The letter we sent can be read and downloaded here: http://www.womenworldplatform.com/files/20160316001034-letterhcchexpert.pdf
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