Stop forced organ harvesting - FreedomUnited.org

Stop forced organ harvesting

forced organ harvesting

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Did you know organs are being forcibly harvested from human beings?

 It is shocking, but human trafficking for the purpose of organ removal and organ trafficking persist around the world, with primary victims being political prisoners, ethnic and religious minorities, and other vulnerable people. Organ trafficking hotspots include China, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Brazil, Nepal, the Philippines, Kosovo, Iran, and former Soviet states in eastern Europe.1

Alarmingly, globally only seven countries have passed legislation to combat these horrific crimes.2 Today, we demand more countries follow suit to stop forced organ harvesting and organ trafficking once and for all.

Forced organ harvesting and organ trafficking are interlinked crimes where organs are taken from victims through coercion or without informed consent and sold illegally, often making their way into the organ tourism transplant market. This means unknowing tourists undergoing organ transplants abroad are at-risk of receiving organs linked to organ trafficking and forced organ harvesting.

In many countries, impoverished people are targeted and coerced to sell an organ from which the traffickers make a significant profit. The ‘donor’ is left without medical care and with significant health risks.

In China, minorities rounded up by government crackdowns – political prisoners, ethnic Uyghurs3, and Falun Gong (Buddhist Qi Gong)4 practitioners — are known to be victims of forced organ harvesting. An international people’s tribunal in London recently found that some of China’s 1.5 million detainees in prisons camps have been killed for the state-sanctioned organ transplant trade worth over $1 billion.

“Forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale,” said the China Tribunal,5  calling the crimes “of unmatched wickedness – on a death for death basis.”6

In 2012, China pledged to phase out harvesting organs from prisoners, but the international tribunal, researchers, and human rights activists stress that the practice continues to this day. An academic research analysis of organ donation data in China uncovered “highly compelling evidence [the numbers] are being falsified” and that tracking the sources of organs in the country remains difficult.7

Despite the clear evidence of organ trafficking and forced organ harvesting, ‘tourists’ continue to go abroad for organ transplants where the source of the organ cannot be verified. In fact, research suggests that 28% of organ transplants in China go to foreigners.8

Some governments are paying attention

But there are promising signs that governments around the world are waking up to this problem. South Korea, Belgium, Norway, Italy, Taiwan, Spain, and Israel have all passed legislation to combat forced organ harvesting, organ transplant tourism, and organ trafficking.9

Canada and the UK are now tabling similar bills that would criminalize the practice of receiving an organ transplant where informed consent was not given or recklessly obtained, prescribing harsh punishments for those who engage in the organ trafficking trade at home and abroad.1011

Organ transplants can save lives, but we believe that organs must be donated ethically and with complete transparency. Unfortunately, that is not the reality for many countries where organ trafficking occurs, and it’s high time for countries around the world to take a stand against organ transplant ‘tourism’ to these criminal hotspots.

You can take action!

Join our call, along with the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China, in pushing countries around the globe to step up and tackle the often-overlooked crimes of human trafficking for the purpose of organ removal and organ trafficking.

  • May 1, 2024: European human rights organizations including Freedom United, led by the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China (ETAC), have penned an open letter to the E.U.’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, Josep Borrell.

    The joint correspondence was penned in response to the promulgation of new regulations in China concerning organ donation and transplantation. It urges robust action to shield E.U. citizens and institutions from complicity in China’s reprehensible practices.

    There was optimism that the ‘Regulation on Donation and Transplantation of Human Organs’, effective on May 1st, would lead to the alignment of China’s domestic laws and practices with international medical and ethical standards.

    Despite China’s introduction of new regulations on organ donation and transplantation, critics argue that these measures lack transparency and accountability. The failure to align with international standards has perpetuated a system of abuse and ‘lacks accountability and denies justice to victims of forced organ harvesting.’

    Read more here.

  • May 27, 2022: We are urging UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet to seek assurances she will be able to freely speak to Uyghurs in the region about allegations of forced labor and forced organ harvesting amongst other egregious human rights abuses, and interrupt the visit if the Chinese authorities breach this agreement.

  • May 1, 2022: Success! The U.K. has taken action against forced organ harvesting by passing new legislation that prevents British nationals from traveling abroad to receive organ transplants. Read more here.

  • March 2022:  6,000+ of us in the Freedom United community wrote to UN experts urging them to keep holding the Chinese government accountable for forced organ harvesting. Read our letter here.

  • Jun 30, 2020: Campaign Launches

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Margaret Dungan
Margaret Dungan
3 years ago

A barbaric and inhumane practice. No one life is more important than another. Everyone involved in this practise, both the buyer and the seller, do not deserve to exist.

Hilary Byers
Hilary Byers
3 years ago

There seems to be no end to the horrible things human beings will do to each other.

Nozipho Mguquka Mvula
Nozipho Mguquka Mvula
3 years ago

horrendous and really hard to take in.

Here’s a link to the 2016 documentary “Hard to Believe” investigating forced organ harvesting in China], which was produced by Kay Rubacek and directed by Ken Stone.

https://youtu.be/RR5o43zZSiA

Andrew
Andrew
3 years ago
Reply to  Gillian Miller

Sorry to say, Gillian Miller, you are wrong here. It is a universally acknowledged truth that no person’s life is more important than another person’s. The fact that some people abuse their power or authority in this way does not mean their life is more important, rather it just indicates that they consider their life more important and they lack the moral sense of right and wrong that would prevent most of us from taking these abhorrent, cruel, selfish and criminal actions.

Linda
Linda
3 years ago

In addition to the forced harvesting, many poor people around the world are prepared to sell a kidney – they are paid a relative fortune. A bit like surrogacy, but much more dangerous. Hopefully, organs will be grown in labs soon, and will put an end to this horror.

End forced organ harvesting

36,360

Help us reach 50,000

To all national legislatures:

Forced organ harvesting and organ trafficking are appalling crimes taking place around the world. I believe every government has a responsibility to take action to combat these horrific human rights abuses.

We are encouraged by legislation passed by seven governments – South Korea, Belgium, Norway, Italy, Taiwan, Spain, and Israel — that address the problem and we fully support new laws being proposed in Canada (Bill S-204) and the UK that would make it a crime to receive organ transplants abroad where informed consent has not been given or where the organ has been recklessly obtained or illegally purchased.

Organ transplants can save lives, but they must be done ethically and with complete transparency if they are to be free from human trafficking for the purpose of organ removal and organ trafficking.

Forced organ harvesting is known to be linked to organ transplant tourism, driving home the point that all governments must educate their own citizens against receiving transplants abroad where organ trafficking persists and victims include political prisoners, ethnic minorities, and persecuted religious communities.

For these reasons, I urge national legislatures in every country to take up legislation to finally tackle these crimes at the international level.

112 signatures have also been collected by our partners at International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China (ETAC) – France.

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