Reverend the Hon. Dr GORDON MOYES [12.12 a.m.]: As parliamentary leader of Family First I speak on the growing concern about human organ trafficking around the world. 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 legislation, widespread corrupt practices and a general lack of public awareness of the extent of the trade. China, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Brazil, the Philippines, Moldova, and Romania are the world’s leading providers of trafficked human organs. If China is known for harvesting and selling organs from executed prisoners, then the other countries have been dealing essentially with living donors, becoming stakeholders in the fast-growing human trafficking web.
They remove kidneys, lungs, pieces of liver, corneas, bones, tendons, heart valves, skin and other sellable human parts. The organs are kept in cold storage and airlifted to illegal distribution centres in the United States, Germany, Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, Israel, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and other rich, industrialised locales. This has prompted a serious re-evaluation of international guidelines and given new impetus to the role of the World Health Organisation in gathering epidemiological data and setting basic normative standards. There is no reliable data on organ trafficking but it is widely believed to be on the increase, with brokers reportedly charging between $100,000 and $200,000 to organise a transplant for wealthy Americans.
Donors—frequently impoverished and ill-educated—receive as little as $1,000 for a kidney although some may receive up to $5,000, and there are reports of people being killed for whatever body part is required. 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. An unknown number of kidneys are being trafficked today for cash from disadvantaged citizens in a range of countries to “organ tourists” from other nations such as Australia who go to those countries to receive the donated body part. Donors may survive the loss of one kidney, albeit often with serious detriment to their health. Only in China do the “donors”—virtually all of whom are Falun Gong or convicted criminals—perish during the transplantation operation because their vital organs are removed. The World Health Organisation is urging governments:
... to take measures to protect the poorest and most vulnerable groups from ‘transplant tourism’ and the sale of tissues and organs, including attention to the wider problem of international trafficking in human tissues and organs. Continue reading