The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE, representing 47 member states and 820 million inhabitants) has just decided to include on their agenda a proposition for a resolution concerning “Human Rights and ethical questions concerning gestational surrogacy.”

The proposal (Doc. 13562) was brought forward on July 1, 2014 by 23 parliamentarians from 11 different countries. The proposal notes that the practice of gestational surrogacy “poses complex problems for the fundamental rights of the women and children concerned” as it “affects the Human Dignity of the pregnant woman,” as well as “the rights and human dignity of the child,” thus transforming them into “goods destined to be bought and sold.” The proposition for a resolution urges the parliamentary Assembly to “reflect on means to treat this issue.” If adopted, the resolution will be an important contribution to the current debate on the rapid worldwide development of the GS market.

This decision occurs simultaneously with the controversial debate regarding gestational surrogacy in France. Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, stated on October 2, in the French daily newspaper, La Croix (The Cross) “GS is, and will remain prohibited in France,” as it is “an intolerable practice of human trafficking and of merchandising of women’s bodies.” He pledged that France would “promote a coordinated international effort” aimed at limitating the practice of GS, without going so far as seeking a total ban.

However, many voices in France, including Alliance VITA, La Manif Pour Tous, as well as many public figures and deputies from the left wing, contest the French Government’s decision for not appealing ECHR’s decision on Gestational Surrogacy. In two judgments made public on June 26, this court, which reports to the Council of Europe, sanctioned France for having refused to register the parentage of children born to surrogate mothers abroad, onto French civil records.