Speaking points

– Is International Surrogacy exploitation of women?
– Is it Women Empowerment? If yes, should we work towards minimum regulations with regard to safe working conditions, medical interventions, minimum age, etc.
– How to protect women in international surrogacy?
– ISS Action with regard to child protection and preview of key principles.

Challenging context

Artificial reproductive technology has become more common, and in many cases more challenging for the protection of children’s rights especially in cross border contexts. With an estimated 20’000 children born through surrogacy and numbers increasing, surrogacy remains particularly complex.
Despite the concerns that have been expressed with regards to cross-border surrogacy, the wide diversity of practices, there remains a lack of consensus and legal framework as to how to address the latter[2].  The variety of domestic legal approaches to surrogacy – prohibition to authorisation-  has resulted in the gradual development of an extensive international commercial surrogacy market. This market paves the way to lucrative business opportunities and activities with a high degree of inherent risk of human rights abuses including the sale of chidren as well as controversies over parenthood and nationality.   Seeking to narrow this gap, this project provides a much needed international human rights framework, from a multidisciplinary perspective.


Mia Dambach, ISS Advocacy and Policy Coordination and Director International Reference Center for the rights of children deprived of a family
Michael Wells-Greco, Private lawyer

Venue and Date
30th of May
Route du Vallon 40
1224 Chêne Bougeries, Geneva