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.
The Chinese government has denied reports of forced organ harvesting occurring in the country following increased scrutiny from UN independent experts. In June, UN experts expressed alarm at allegations of state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting of minority group detainees in China leading to an official statement last month requesting access to the region.
Substantial evidence has been shared with the UN pointing to a system of forced organ harvesting and organ trafficking impacting minorities including Falun Gong practitioners, Uyghurs, Tibetans, Muslims, Christians and other minority ethnic groups.
The UN has yet to be granted full access to China in order to conduct a fact-finding mission and properly investigate the allegations of state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting, however the evidence that has been presented to experts to date has been sufficient to prompt an official response.
Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said in September: “I regret that I am not able to report progress on my efforts to seek meaningful access to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. [My] office is finalizing its assessment of the available information on allegations of serious human rights violations in that region, with a view to making it public.”
In response to the allegations of organ harvesting and human trafficking, the Chinese Government cited a litany of existing laws on the issues. None of which, in itself, rebuts the allegations. The Chinese Government further commented upon two individual cases. It then called upon UN experts to “maintain a scrupulous and fact-based adherence to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations … and carry out their duties with fairness and objectivity.”
While the UN is blocked from conducting its own investigations in the country, the Chinese government remains able to continue to disregard a catalogue of allegations concerning forced organ harvesting and other egregious human rights violations.
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