The Social Affairs Committee of the Council of Europe has just rejected this morning the Petra de Sutter report that would have recommended permitting surrogacy in Europe. This is a great victory for human dignity in Europe and for the World Youth Alliance.
The approval of this report would have meant a big political endorsement of so-called “altruistic” surrogacy. This situation in Europe would have been very problematic, proposing a surrogacy-friendly legal framework throughout the continent that would have facilitated the efforts of foreign commercial surrogacy companies to sell their “products”—women and children, as has been highlighted in a previous article (“’Altruistic Surrogacy’ a Big Business”).
As we have discussed in the World Youth Alliance white paper on surrogacy, this practice is very problematic as it violates human dignity and human rights. In surrogacy agreements, women are valued only for their reproductive systems and children are treated like commodities to be acquired rather than persons with rights. This violates rights against human trafficking and exploitation, as well as rights to legal identity and, in international surrogacy, nationality.
The World Youth Alliance welcomes this news. WYA has been working on this issue through over a year, preparing the white paper, meeting with experts and political actors, and working with members of the Council of Europe from all political parties, providing them with analysis and advice. We commend the Social Affairs Committee for taking this important decision to reject surrogacy in all forms.