English: Hundreds of women’s human rights organizations from 18 countries call upon a global ban on womb rental in unprecendented international campaign
Monday 24th September, 2018. Hundreds of women’s human rights organizations from 18 countries have released an international statement to request a global ban on womb rental (‘surrogacy’). In an unparallel global call for action, these feminist organizations ask heads of Government and State to deliver public remarks for a global ban on surrogacy during the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly. They also exhort governments to consider withdrawing funding support to the United Nations agencies that are supporting the legalization of surrogacy. [Further information in attached statement and list of signatory organizations].
Español: Cientos de organizaciones de derechos de las mujeres de 18 países exigen la prohibición global del alquiler de vientres en una campaña internacional sin precedentes
Lunes 24 de septiembre, 2018. Cientos de organizaciones defensoras de los derechos humanos de las mujeres de 18 países han difundido un comunicado que pide la prohibición global del alquiler de vientres. En una acción global sin precedentes, estas organizaciones feministas piden a los jefes de Gobierno y de Estado que se pronuncien públicamente por la prohibición global del alquiler de vientres durante la 73ª sesión de la Asamblea General de Naciones Unidas. También piden a los gobiernos que consideren retirar su apoyo financiero a las agencias de la ONU que están apoyando la legalización del alquiler de vientres. [Más información en el comunicado adjunto y en la lista de organizaciones firmantes].
Français : Des centaines d’organisations de défense des droits humains des femmes dans 18 pays appellent à une interdiction mondiale du ventre à louer dans le cadre d’une campagne internationale sans précédent
Lundi 24 septembre, 2018. Des centaines d’organisations de défense des droits humains des femmes de 18 pays ont publié un communiqué international pour demander une interdiction mondiale de la maternité de substitution  (aussi appelé “gestation pour autrui” ou “GPA”). Dans un appel mondial sans précédent, ces organisations féministes demandent aux chefs de Gouvernement et d’État de faire des déclarations publiques en faveur d’une interdiction mondiale du ventre à louer lors de la 73ème session de l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies. Ils exhortent également les gouvernements à envisager de retirer leur soutien financier aux agences des Nations Unies qui soutiennent la légalisation de la “gestation pour autrui”. [Informations complémentaires dans le communiqué jointe et liste des organisations signataires].
Media contacts / Contacto para medios / Contacts pour les médias
English/Inglés/Anglais: Clara Berglund, Swedish Women’s Lobby
Spanish/Español/Espagnol:  Alicia Miyares, Red Estatal Contra el Alquiler de Vientres
French/Francés/Français: Marie-Josèphe Devillers, Coalition Internationale pour l’Abolition de la Maternité de Substitution


[english version]


The undersigning women’s human rights and civil society organizations alert that…

  1. Womb rental (also known as ‘surrogacy’) is a serious violation of women’s and children’s rights and dignity. It is indeed a form of reproductive exploitation of women that treats newborns as commodities that are subject to commercial agreements.
  2. The hiring of wombs poses a risk to women’s physical and phycological integrity and undermines women’s fundamental right to filiation and other fundamental rights. It also violates the right of children to know their origins. In fact, the hiring of wombs is the most prominent form of trafficking in women and children for the purpose of reproductive exploitation; it is a business that provides multi-million-dollar benefits to intermediary agencies and clinics.
  3. Womb rental contravenes the fundamental human rights of women and children stipulated in international conventions and treaties such as the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW, Articles 3 and 6), the Convention to Suppress the Slave Trade and Slavery (Art. 1), the International Convention on the Rights of the Child (Art. 7, 9 and 35), the Option Protocol to the International Convention of the Rights of the child (Art. 2 a and 3), and the Additional Protocol to the Convention against Translational Organized Crime (Art. 3 a).
  4. The wish for becoming father or mother of children who possess ones’ own genetic material is not a right either a human right. Wishes are not systematically equivalent to rights.
  5. ‘Altruistic surrogacy’ does not exist. This practice cannot be defined as ‘altruistic’ because it involves the signature of a contract, the waiver of fundamental rights as well as economic transactions and ‘compensations’. Womb rental consists of a mean-spirited and selfish practice that creates a system of ‘reproductive maids’ and converts children into commodities that are bought and sold on demand.
  6. The womb-rental industry operates in developing countries using the same criminal strategies than those of the human trafficking networks. These tactics include the identification and recruitment of women in vulnerable situation so that they are more likely to rent their wombs for money.
  7. Many countries have a very weak Rule of Law, so the legalization of any aspect of womb rental -such as the so-called ‘altruistic’ surrogacy- means in practice the full legalization of surrogacy and the legitimation of the reproductive exploitation of women. The regularization of surrogacy opens the door to the reproductive exploitation of women committed by the elites of those countries and nurtures the international mafias of organ trafficking and of the exploitation of children.
  8. The rent-a-womb industry is lobbying representatives from governments and the United Nations to legalize surrogacy. Economic and profiteering benefits are the only interests of this lobby. However, the rent-a-womb industry is trying to cover its interests by arguing that surrogacy is a form of ‘assisted reproductive technology’ and a matter of women’s ‘free choice’; while they purposely ignore the situation of poverty and vulnerability of women who rent their wombs.
  9. The United Nations and two of its agencies are currently trying to influence governments all around the world, and especially from developing countries, for the legalization of surrogacy -of the so-called ‘altruistic’ surrogacy-. These two UN agencies are the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
  10. We recall to governments and States that surrogacy is against the civil and penal codes from the vast majority of countries as well as against the international conventions and treaties signed and ratified by them. Therefore, governments cannot and should not allow the international transfer of future children born through surrogacy either these children’s registration; otherwise, governments are encouraging a legal fraud that perpetuates the violation of human rights of children and women.

And that is why we…

  1. Call upon all heads of State and Government who are participating at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly to make public statements in support of women’s and children’s human rights and for the global ban on womb rental (‘surrogacy’).
  2. Urge all governments to take all necessary measures to prosecute and prevent the womb rental at international and national levels, with a close cooperation between governments and a proactive role of embassies, consulates, police and judicial systems.
  3. Request the outlawing and shutting down of intermediary agencies, clinics and all businesses involved in the rent-a-womb industry in all countries, as well as the banning of this industry’s advertisements.
  4. Exhort the funding governments of the United Nations to review their financial contributions to the UN agencies that support the legalization of womb rental -the so-called ‘altruistic’ surrogacy-, namely the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
  5. Appeal to all government to work further to eradicate poverty of women and gender inequality, as well as to increase efforts to promote and protect the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of women, including women’s sexual and reproductive rights.


List of organizations signing off the statement is presented in attached document

Liste complète des organisations signataires dans le document ci-joint List of Organizations – Lista de Organizaciones – Liste des organisations (1)

FRA – Communique International-V2 doc

ESP – Comunicado Internacional

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