Sunday, March 09, 2008

Organ Trafficking: A Fast-Expanding Black Market

From Jane's Information Group:

As global demand for live transplants keeps growing, the shadowy organ trading business is rapidly expanding, dominated by unscrupulous brokers and facilitated by inadequate national legislations, widespread corrupt practices and a general lack of public awareness on the extent of the trade.

The illegal trade in body parts is largely dominated by kidneys because they are in greatest demand and they are the only major organs that can be wholly transplanted with relatively few risks for the living donor.

Organ trafficking accounts for around 10 per cent of the nearly 70,000 kidney transplants performed worldwide annually, although as many as 15,000 kidneys could be trafficked each year.

China, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Brazil, the Philippines, Moldova, and Romania are among the world's leading providers of trafficked organs. If China is known for harvesting and selling organs from executed prisoners, the other countries have been dealing essentially with living donors, becoming stakeholders in the fast-growing human trafficking web.

Trafficked organs are either sold domestically, or exported to be transplanted into patients from the US, Europe, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and especially Israel.

Ten years ago, organ trafficking was largely seen as a rumour. Since then a number of countries (Brazil, South Africa, India, Moldova) have taken decisive steps to go after the traffickers, criminalise the trade in human organs, or ban transplants from living donors. Nonetheless, this has come at the risk of driving the trade underground, or shifting it to other countries.

Arguing that laws and policies are insufficient to effectively curb organ trafficking, Organs Watch, COFS and other non-governmental organisations say it is essential for civil society to be actively engaged in this combat so organ trafficking is universally recognised as a medical human rights abuse and a "body tax on the poor".


  1. adrian8:39 PM

    Bet there's a lot of body parts going cheap in the war zones!

  2. Anonymous12:14 AM

    Albanians have been very active in organ-trafficking by kidnapping Serbs from Kosovo, taking their organs and therefore killing them. Serbian government estimates that there were hundreds of cases. So far no response from Interpol, UN or Hague tribunal..

  3. Anonymous10:45 AM

    2 weeks ago the bodies of 10-12 Mexican children were found in Mexico City that were all butchered for their organs. My colleague witnessed this horrific find first hand while on a trip with the Mexican police trying to identify stolen merchandise. Very sad how these things do not make it to the news nor do people seem to care.

    1. If it were reported on then people would care, as this is the real case with regard to the public's awareness of an issue. The problem is that we have a media that is so terribly and fundamentally biased because of its owned by corporations. People care, how can they not? It could be them or their children that are victims of this brutality. Thank you for your input, the story, it is disgusting that people can be reduced to this, as both victim and perpetrator.

    2. If it were reported on more, people would care and if people were empowered with the information and remedy for this abuse, it would be feasible to curb it. It is very alarming how human life and all life is treated.

  4. Anonymous8:58 PM

    To the first anonymous:

    The Kosovars did not traffic with the Serbs organs, indeed it was the other way around. I believe that anyone who is aware of the war that has happened in Kosovo knows what Serbs have done to Albanians.

    How many people died because they couldn't live with the pain they have been put through? How many females died because they were raped and their organs were demolished and cut away from their bodies?
    How many children have seen their parents being killed in front of them?

    I bet you don't dare to talk about this, and this has not only happened in Kosovo, but also in Bosnia and Herzegovina... What the proof would be: there are many massacres of thousands and thousands of people that were killed.

    And yet so far no response from Hague tribual for ALL EVIL-MINDED SERBIANS who dare take the role of God and take away the human lives.

  5. Anonymous5:39 PM

    Is satanic ritual abuse connected to this?

  6. Anonymous11:54 PM

    I think organ trafficking should be legalized, If someone wants to sell they're organs why not let them? it's there civil right to do what they please with their body? if its ultimately for the greater good of saving someones life let them sell they're organs.

    Stealing someones organs, butchering, that in no way will ever be okay.

    As far as smuggling organs off of dead bodies, yeah it sounds immoral and unrealistic but if a death of someone can save one life why not? also everyone should be organ donors unless they have a disease that runs through organs.

  7. Anonymous11:15 PM

    I think anyone who exploits anothers weakness to make personal profit from it by either abducting them or misleading them for trading their organs or trading them for prostitution or child labor should be given a LIFE sentence without parole. Their names and pictures should be splashed iN EVERY newspaper. After all, when such things happen they actually destroy lives and this scar never heals and will continue to haunt these people all their lives and they live their lives in fear all the time. This would be justice, these people should not be allowed to hide behind the privacy law and everything should be made public.