Parliamentary Assembly

Disappearance of newborn children

Doc. 10119
30 March 2004

Motion for a recommendation
presented by Mrs Vermot-Mangold and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only the members who have signed it

Trafficking in human beings is on the rise in Europe.  Apart from the trafficking in women and minors that is already widespread in eastern Europe, a new form of the scourge is developing in the region: trafficking in newborn children.

According to reports in the German audiovisual and print media, two newborn babies disappeared in mysterious circumstances at the end of 2002.  They were taken away from their mothers a few hours after being born in a clinic in Kharkov (Ukraine).  The medical staff then declared that they had died of complications.  In spite of repeated requests, their parents were never given access to their bodies.  Subsequently, several foetuses and bodies of newborn babies whose organs had been removed were discovered at the clinic’s biological waste site.

A Ukrainian organisation, the All Ukrainian Federation of Families with Many Children - Family Network for Central and Eastern Europe, which is active in protecting families and children, has condemned the total lack of information about 300 disappearances that occurred in the same mysterious circumstances between 2001 and 2003. At national level, only three legal inquiries have been launched (in December 2002) and they have produced no concrete results to date.

At European level, a German MEP, Ms Gabriele Stauner, has called on the European Parliament to launch an inquiry and consider reducing or even ending the financial assistance granted to Ukraine if the country’s authorities do not co-operate actively with the inquiries and in preventing these violations of human rights.

Several cases of trafficking of newborn children have also been reported in Moldova. Newspapers advertisements encourage single mothers to sell their child for 3.000 euros. The fate of these babies is still to be elucidated. Does it concern sale for illegal adoption, trafficking of newborn children for research or other purpose?

The Assembly calls on the authorities of the countries concerned, on the basis of the commitments they have entered into at the Council of Europe:

- to investigate the cases in order to establish the real causes of the disappearance of the newborn children ;

- to identify those responsible, if appropriate, by instituting criminal proceedings;

- and to report thereon to the Parliamentary Assembly, in particular its Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee.

Vermot-Mangold, Switzerland, SOC
Azevedo, Portugal, EPP/CD
Belohorsk´┐Ż, Slovakia, EDG
Cliveti, Romania, SOC
Dees, Netherlands, LDR
Donabauer, Austria, EPP/CD
Dupraz, Switzerland, LDR
Evin, France, SOC
Flynn, United Kingdom, SOC
Hancock, United Kingdom, LDR
Hurskainen, Finland, SOC
Ionescu, Romania, NR
Kovalev, Russia, EDG
Marty, Switzerland, LDR
McCafferty, United Kingdom, SOC
Milotinova, Bulgaria, LDR
Schicker, Austria, SOC
Schmied, Switzerland, LDR
Sysas, Lithuania, SOC
Timmermans J., Belgium, SOC



Socialist Group
Group of the European People’s Party
European Democratic Group
Liberal, Democratic and Reformers’ Group
Group of the Unified European Left
Not registered in a group