UN human rights experts: keep holding the Chinese government accountable for forced organ harvesting - FreedomUnited.org

Stop forced organ harvesting

forced organ harvesting

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Watch our webinar on tackling forced organ harvesting and organ trafficking.

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

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.

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 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.

  • November 23, 2021: The UK Parliament debated an amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill tabled by Marie Rimmer MP that would ban UK citizens receiving a transplant abroad when financial gain is involved or without clear consent of the donor.

  • Jun 30, 2020: Campaign Launches

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1 year ago

Organ harvesting is outrageous and all countries should speak up strongly against China, stop trade, etc.

Beauty Erawati Riach
Beauty Erawati Riach
1 year ago

This is a gradual form of genocide so it must stop immediately!

Yuksel Barkut
Yuksel Barkut
1 year ago

Stop using human beings” bodies as using lab. Animals

Roe Freeman
Roe Freeman
1 year ago

Shameful exploration of poor and vulnerable people forced into this.

Pop Ana-Maria
Pop Ana-Maria
1 year ago

No comment

UN human rights experts: keep holding the Chinese government accountable for forced organ harvesting


of 10,000 signatures

Dear UN human rights experts,

I am concerned that the Government of China has failed to adequately respond to allegations of state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting and organ trafficking.

UN human rights experts expressed concern at the lack of independent oversight as to whether prisoners of conscience and detainees provide valid consent to organ donation. The Government of China did not respond to the concern at the lack of independent oversight.

The Government of China must meaningfully engage with overwhelming evidence and testimonies alleging state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting occurring in the country.

We respectfully request that, as part of a group of human rights experts, you issue a new joint correspondence that highlights the inadequacies of the Chinese government’s response and keep holding the Chinese government to account for these horrific crimes.

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