UN observer says surrogacy is “attack on human dignity”
Suzanne Aho participated in the presentation of the anti-surrogacy declaration as an independent observer for the United Nations. She is positive about the declaration calling for the practice’s universal abolition.
“Surrogacy is an attack on human dignity and therefore a violation of the rights of the child and those of women.” Suzanne Aho, a former Togolese Minister of Health, does not beat about the bush. As a member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, Aho attended the presentation of the Casablanca Declaration in early March. In an interview with Omnes Magazine she is positive about the declaration, which calls for the universal abolition of surrogacy.
On March 3rd, dozens of experts presented the declaration in Casablanca, Morocco. According to them, surrogacy is a fundamental violation of human rights, and countries should combat this. The experts argue that the global dimension of surrogacy requires an international response. Therefore, they drafted a proposal for an international convention.
Aho salutes this initiative. “One of the legal problems arises when transcribing birth certificates issued abroad. Some jurisdictions do not recognise surrogacy as a mode of legal procreation in the name of the principle of commodification. This seminar comes at the right time”, she says to Omnes. According to Aho, the UN Committee has surrogacy on its agenda to be addressed.
Despite her support for the declaration, Aho thinks it is too early to conclude an international agreement. “Several questions must be resolved beforehand: What are the statistics of the surrogacy market globally? Are the states that practice and authorise surrogacy prepared for it?” A good first step, according to Aho, would be to publicise the Casablanca Declaration.
The declaration also caused rifts in the Netherlands. As CNE reported earlier, the Christian MP Kees van der Staaij asked via parliamentary questions a reaction from the government toward the declaration.
Meanwhile, surrogacy is a growing phenomenon in Europe. In early March, the German government revealed a commission that will examine the possibility of legalising surrogacy in Germany.
However, while the practice is growing, it is not a societal subject. Cornelia Kaminski, a German pro-life advocate and a Catholic who signed the declaration, told CNE that she experiences little support from her fellow believers. “The Catholic Church tend to look over surrogacy. They do not seem to realise that big things are at stake. We are giving up women’s rights without a fight.”
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