Latest modern slavery fight updates -

More organ trafficking victims come forward in U.K.

  • Published on
    May 6, 2023
  • News Source Image
  • Category:
    Human Trafficking
Hero Banner

More victims of organ trafficking in the U.K. are coming forward following the first organ trafficking conviction under modern slavery laws in the country.

Greater understanding of organ trafficking

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.

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

A high-profile organ trafficking case in the U.K. this year saw a prominent Nigerian politician, Ike Ekweremadu, convicted for trafficking a street vendor from Nigeria to the U.K. with the intention to illegally harvest his kidney for a transplant to his seriously ill daughter. 

The 21-year-old victim managed to flee and seek help from police after the proposed transplant was rejected at London’s Royal Free Hospital. The victim feared he would be at risk of being coerced into another transplant in Nigeria.

Since this case, more victims across London and other parts of the U.K. have come forward with allegations.

Detective Superintendent Andy Furphy leads the modern slavery team for the London Metropolitan Police told the Guardian:

“It’s difficult to say how serious it is in the country right now. We often find as soon as something gets highlighted in the public sphere … others victims come forward. This is now not the only investigation we’ve got into organ harvesting.”

Raising the alarm

Detectives investigating Ekweremadu’s organ trafficking case advise that clinicians involved in transplants should raise the alarm with the police where there may be suspicions of organ trafficking. Since then, officials on the case have done significant training with the Royal Free Hospital.

Detective Inspector Andy Owen, who was also involved in the investigation, said: 

“There’s definitely some sort of learning to come out of the hospitals and that’s something that we’re engaged in as a separate matter. They [the Royal Free] did raise safeguarding concerns and we’re doing a separate piece of work to up-skill them around modern slavery and the action they should be taking.”

Take action

Join our call to push 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. Sign the petition today!


Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.

stop icon A few things we do not tolerate: comments that promote discrimination, prejudice, racism, or xenophobia, as well as personal attacks or profanity. We screen submissions in order to create a space where the entire Freedom United community feels safe to express and exchange thoughtful opinions.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This week

Rounded up and abandoned: Europe’s covert support of migrant atrocities

It is well documented that inhumane immigration policies are forcing migrants to take extremely risky routes on their journey to seek asylum in Europe and globally. However, a year-long investigation by the Washington Post, Lighthouse Reports, and a consortium of international media outlets uncovered that migrant lives are not just at risk due to sketchy channel crossings and being packed in the back of refrigerator trucks. To dissuade sub-Saharan

| Wednesday May 22, 2024

Read more