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Rejection of surrogacy report hailed as win for human rights

ADF International welcomes rejection of controversial report promoting surrogacy at Council of Europe


PARIS – On Tuesday, the Committee on Social Affairs, Health, and Sustainable Development of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe rejected a report authored by Belgian Senator Petra De Sutter that recommended the legalization of surrogacy.

Surrogacy exploits and commodifies women, and it turns children into a transferrable asset

In the report De Sutter called on the governments of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe to make legal regulations for the provision of surrogacy agreements.
“The rejection of the De Sutter surrogacy report is a victory for the human rights of women and children. Surrogacy exploits and commodifies women, and it turns children into a transferrable asset,” said ADF International Legal Counsel Lorcán Price. “We urge the Council of Europe to grant protection to women and children by condemning all forms of surrogacy.”

A conflict of interest

The surrogacy report had attracted significant controversy even ahead of the vote. De Sutter has been accused of having a conflict of interest in light of professional involvement in surrogacy. This led to calls for the matter to be referred to the committee responsible for supervising the ethical rules of the Council of Europe. The report also attracted widespread attention from human rights groups who were united in their condemnation of all forms of surrogacy.

“This report ignored the fact that surrogacy is a form of exploitation of women and children,” said Moldovan politician Valeriu Ghiletchi, who led the opposition to the report among the members of the committee. “It reduces the woman to a reproductive machine and the child to an asset in a business transaction.”
•Pronunciation guide: Lorcán (LOHR’-kahn)

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