International regulation is urgent on surrogacy as children face becoming commodities due to the increase of surrogacy arrangements globally.
UN Special Rapporteur Maud de Boer-Buquicchio on the sale and sexual exploitation of children came up with the statement from Geneva on Tuesday, reports UNB.
Her comments follow several scandals that have highlighted the abuses that can arise through surrogacy.
"Surrogacy is a growing industry driven by international demand, making it an area of concern for children's rights and protection," she said.
Commercial surrogacy, as currently practised in some countries, usually amounts to the sale of children, the UN expert said.
She said children are not goods or services that the State can guarantee or provide. "They're human beings with rights."
"There's no right to have a child under international law," said Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, who presented a report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday.
The Special Rapporteur also highlighted concerns over intending parents from wealthy States engaging surrogate mothers in developing States, which have weak institutions and regulations.
"This practice entails power imbalances and increases the vulnerability of the children and surrogate mothers to various forms of exploitation," she said.
"Altruistic surrogacy must also be appropriately regulated in order to prevent the sale of children," said de Boer-Buquicchio.
"There's an undeniable, urgent need for surrogacy to be regulated," said de Boer-Buquicchio.
"If nothing is done, abusive commercial surrogacy networks will continue to move from one jurisdiction to another," she said.
Children in international surrogacy arrangements are at a particular risk, and States must protect them despite the different jurisdictions involved and ensure that they are not subjected to discrimination, she said.
"The best interests of the child need to be at the heart of any decision taken in respect to parentage and parental responsibility decisions," de Boer-Buquicchio added.
Courts or other competent authorities should be involved in such determinations, as private contracts generally do not provide sufficient human rights safeguards.
"Regulation based on human rights principles is essential, and can also inform national authorities as they grapple with the challenges raised by surrogacy," said de Boer-Buquicchio.