On Thursday March 10, representatives from No Maternity traffic presented to the Presidency of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg the official European petition requesting the ban of surrogacy gathering 107,967 signatures.

This petition has been presented just a few days prior to the up-coming vote on the draft report and resolution on Surrogacy by the Committee on Social Affairs of the Council of Europe at a meeting scheduled in Paris on March 15.

This report might lead to the liberalization of surrogacy. It is even more controversial since the discovery of a possible conflict of interest of the rapporteur, a Belgian Senator who is gynecologist and practices surrogacy. That is the reason of the massive mobilization of numerous European citizens, alerted by the recent turn of events in the debate.

In this petition, officially presented according to the rules of the Council of Europe (article 65), the individuals signing request that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe clearly condemn all practices of surrogacy as being in itself contrary to the rights and the dignity of individuals.

No Maternity traffic emphasizes that human being are not objects, they cannot be given, rented or sold. Surrogacy exploits women, it makes children the object of contracts to be conceived then abandoned by their mother. Surrogacy destroys the filiation of these children; it is a form of human slavery.

Surrogacy violates European and international law, in particular the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination

against Women (1979), Conventions on adoption (1967 and 1993), the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (2005), and on Human Rights and Bio-Medecine (1997).

Among other points, the petition requests that governments initiate the elaboration of a text to specifically prohibit all forms of surrogacy in Europe and that the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) be the guardian for the rights of women and children and condemn the practice of surrogacy as being contrary to Human Rights.

The collective group, No Maternity Traffic is organizing a rally of citizens on March 15 in front of the Office of the Council of Europe at 8 :30 am, where the vote for the resolution on surrogacy will be held: 55 Avenue Kléber, Paris 16e (Metro Boissière). There will be a press conference at 8 :45 a.m.