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Prenatal sex selection

Recommendation 1979 (2011)

Author(s):
Parliamentary Assembly
Origin
Assembly debate on 3 October 2011 (29th Sitting) (see Doc. 12715, report of the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, rapporteur: Ms Stump; and Doc. 12727, opinion of the Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee, rapporteur: Mr Xuclà i Costa). Text adopted by the Assembly on 3 October 2011 (29th Sitting).
Thesaurus
1 Referring to its Resolution 1829 (2011) on prenatal sex selection, the Parliamentary Assembly wishes to draw the Committee of Ministers’ attention to this practice which occurs in a number of member states, in particular Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, as indicated by skewed sex ratios at birth.
2 Prenatal sex selection calls into question the core values upheld by the Council of Europe, such as equality and dignity of human beings, non-discrimination and the protection of the individual’s dignity and fundamental rights with regard to the applications of biology and medicine. It also touches upon core activities of the Council of Europe such as the promotion and protection of human rights, the promotion of gender equality and the prevention of and fight against gender-based violence.
3 The Assembly therefore invites the Committee of Ministers to:
3.1 bring to the attention of the Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO) and the Committee of the Parties of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, once they will have been established, the issue of prenatal sex selection and its underlying causes, in light of its links with violence against women;
3.2 instruct the Steering Committee on Bioethics to conduct a comparative study on prenatal sex selection and consider the elaboration of guidelines and good practices on prenatal sex selection in the context of Article 14 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Being with regard to the Application of Biology and Medicine: Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (ETS No. 164);
3.3 step up efforts aimed at promoting the signature, ratification and implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (CETS No. 210) and the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine;
4 As regards the four Council of Europe member states with the most skewed sex ratios, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, the Assembly asks the Committee of Ministers to:
4.1 take the issue of prenatal sex selection into account in the framework of assistance and co-operation programmes with these countries, in particular in the field of education, youth and dialogue with civil society;
4.2 ask its relevant committees and structures working in the field of equality between women and men to organise or contribute to public awareness-raising campaigns on the equal value of girls and boys in these countries.
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