Surrogacy: The Rapporteur of the Council of Europe suspected of a conflict of interest

On Monday, November 23rd, the Committee on Social Affairs of the Council of Europe, meeting in Paris, decided to postpone sine die the examination of the draft resolution on surrogacy, due to a potential breach of the rules of the Parliamentary Assembly.

The issue is the choice of the rapporteur for the draft, the Belgian Senator Petra De Sutter, who in her professional activity practices surrogacy. However, the Code of Conduct for Rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly expressly prohibits the rapporteurs to have a professional “interest connected with the subject of the report” (art. 1.1.1.).

The Committee on Social Affairs has decided to investigate this situation before deciding whether to “withdraw (…) her mandate and replace (…) her” or not, as set forth in the Code of Conduct. No maternity traffic is satisfied with this decision and hopes that the future discussion on this draft resolution will take place in better conditions “of neutrality, impartiality and objectivity“, in accordance with the Code of Conduct, and as deserves such a serious topic.

No Maternity Traffic recalls that surrogacy is a form of human trafficking, which involves the exploitation of the female body and the commodification of children. The only human policy is to seek effectively prohibiting the practice while resolving, case by case, the existing situations. Last week No Maternity Traffic sent a letter and a written contribution to all the members of the Committee on Social Affairs to inform them of the Petition which already gathered more than 100,000 signatures.

To sign the petition, please click here.]]>

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