On 6th October 2023, the European members of parliament added surrogate motherhood to the human trafficking crimes.
This vote took place during the joint commission on women’s rights and civil liberties, on a “proposed position” concerning a revision to directive 2011/36/UE on the fight against human trafficking.
In addition to surrogate motherhood for the purpose of reproductive exploitation, illegal adoption and forced marriage were also added to the list of human trafficking, three practices to be penalised in Europe. The Euro MPs also wished to provide the European Union repressive services with greater means to act against human trafficking and to provide better support for the victims.
The initial directive currently in force was adopted in 2011. Its revision, 12 years later, is intended to take account of the new challenges and to harmonise the data. In European law, a directive is a legislative act which establishes objectives for the European Union member states.
In addition to this draft proposal adopted by the MPs from both the right and the left, they also approved the mandate for negotiation with the European Union Council. The next stage is due in the coming weeks in the transcription of these new measures into the directive revised by the Council.
This recognition of the prohibition of trafficking associated with surrogate motherhood in the European Union is a decisive stage towards obtaining its prohibition in Europe and internationally. Europe would thus become a forerunner in line with the Casablanca declaration launched last March, which calls for the proposal of an international convention for the worldwide abolition of surrogate motherhood.