• The China PostThe China Post | June 10, 2015

    [read the article]


    By Sun Hsin-hsuan 

    Patients receiving illegal organ transplants overseas will be facing a maximum of five years in prison and a NT$300,000 fine if amendments to the Human Organ Transplantation Act pass the Legislative Yuan, which is likely to happen, according to legislators.

    According to Po-chang Lee (李伯璋), chairman of Taiwan Organ Registry and Sharing Center (TWRSC, 器官捐贈移植登錄中心), Taiwanese patients still participate in organ trading in mainland China, which permits organ trafficking. Lawmakers aim to curb this brutal act by making it a crime at home.

    In May, amendments to the Human Organ Transplantation Act were proposed, introducing new aspects to the act. Firstly, those undertaking organ trades and transplants arranged overseas will face criminal punishment when patients return to the nation.

    Secondly, regulations will make it illegal for organs from criminals sentenced to death to be used in patients.

    According to Chen, the controversial issue lies within the diagnosis of brain death. Criminal law allows forensic scientists only 20 minutes in the execution chamber to determine brain death, Chen said.

    Under such circumstances, criminals may be certified as brain dead prematurely and medical teams may consequently be removing organs from a living person. "Such cases have really happened," Chen said, adding that it is will be against the law to remove organs from an executed criminal. Moreover, many professional medical teams have refused to conduct such operations.

    The third amendment is to mandate officials to enquire whether a person is willing to donate organs after death when reissuing driver's licenses, ID cards, or National Health Insurance cards...

  • The Independent SpainThe Independent | May 18, 2015

    [read the article]


    Spanish police say they have arrested five people suspected of trying to force a Moroccan immigrant to sell one of his kidneys for 6,000 euro (£4,300).

    A police statement said the man tried to pull out of the deal while undergoing clinical tests but the group kidnapped him and threatened to kill him if he did not go ahead.

    The statement said the alleged buyer was a leader of a criminal gang whose son had kidney problems.

    Spain's National Transplant Organisation alerted police to the case...

  • Guardian IranThe Guardian | May 10, 2015

    [read the article]


    By Francesco Alesi and Luca Muzi

    A strong hot wind blows from the desert and, around the Iranian city of Ahvaz, flames from the chimneys of the oil refineries all bend in the direction of the Persian Gulf. On the road, a festive crowd advances though the dust raised by the wind, to the sound of drums. Shiites are celebrating Ashura. Ghaffar goes to his window to watch: he would like to be with them, but he is in a hospital waiting for a kidney transplant.

    In the female transplants unit, the rhythm of the drums drowns out the cheerful chatter of three young patients. Tandis and Chaman are showing Narin the scars on their chest – they have received kidneys and are currently recovering. Narin will have a similar scar soon: she has sold one of her kidneys to Ghaffar...

  • The Straits Times

    The Straits Times | May 14, 2015

    [read the article]


    JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israeli prosecutors on Wednesday charged seven people with international organ trafficking and organising illegal transplants, the justice ministry said.

    The Israeli suspects organised or performed transplants in Azerbaijan, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Kosovo, using paid local donors for Israeli recipients, it said.

    "The accused ran a real business in trafficking organs, on dozens of occasions over the course of years, exploiting the financial distress of the donors and the health crisis of the recipients for economic gain," it said....

    dJERUSALEM (AFP) - Israeli prosecutors on Wednesday charged seven people with international organ trafficking and organising illegal transplants, the justice ministry said.

    The Israeli suspects organised or performed transplants in Azerbaijan, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Kosovo, using paid local donors for Israeli recipients, it said.

    "The accused ran a real business in trafficking organs, on dozens of occasions over the course of years, exploiting the financial distress of the donors and the health crisis of the recipients for economic gain," it said.

    - See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/world/middle-east/story/israel-charges-seven-international-organ-trafficking-20150514#sthash.zYmGO8Q8.dpuf
  • COE Conference on the conventionCouncil of Europe | May 4, 2015


    The Council of Europe has released the conclusions of the high level international conference on the fight against Trafficking in Human Organs which took place in Santiago de Compostela, Spain in March this year.

    The report of these conclusions notes that trafficking in human organs is "a global problem" which "violates the dignity of human beings...[and] undermines trust in the efficiency and fairness of the public health system".

    The report explains the significance and value of the new Convention against trafficking in human organs.

    The conference report is freely available courtesy of the Council of Europe in Español, Français, English and Русский.

    For more information about the Convention, please click here.

     

     

  • ABC on ChinaABC News | April 20, 2015

    [read the article]


    By Huey Fern Tay

    Medical workers ran into the hospital as soon as the helicopter landed in Zhengzhou, central-eastern China.

    The box they were carrying contained a liver and two kidneys that had been donated by a man in the same province.

    A surgeon emerged eight hours later to declare the liver transplant operation a success.

    The wife of the male recipient looked relieved as she thanked the mystery donor and his family for saving her husband's life.

    This touching account was covered by a satellite television channel run by the local province of Henan; one of many reports that have featured in the Chinese media over the past few months.

    Those involved in the campaign to promote organ donations speak excitedly about upcoming projects.

    "In future we may make some documentaries and movies," deputy director of the China Organ Administrative Centre Dr Gao Xinpu said...

  • The ScotsmanThe Scotsman | March 31, 2015

    [Read the article here]


     By Calum MacKellar

    According to the World Health Organisation, the international trafficking of organs is a growing problem with about 10,000 organs being bought and sold on the black market every year around the world. While there is a small market for hearts, lungs and other body parts, it is kidneys that represent the large majority of organs being trafficked since most people are born with two kidneys and it is possible to survive with only one.

    The countries in which organs are being bought from individuals are some of the most impoverished in South America, Africa and Asia, while recipient countries include the United States, Canada, Australia, the UK and Japan.

    Trafficking persons for organs involves a whole host of offenders including recruiters who identify potential organ providers, those who arrange transport to the hospitals, the clinical staff responsible for the surgery and the salesmen who organise the trade. Moreover, because of the involvement of so many national and international players, the trafficking is difficult to police...

  • The China PostThe China Post | June 10, 2015

    [read the article]


    By Sun Hsin-hsuan 

    Patients receiving illegal organ transplants overseas will be facing a maximum of five years in prison and a NT$300,000 fine if amendments to the Human Organ Transplantation Act pass the Legislative Yuan, which is likely to happen, according to legislators.

    According to Po-chang Lee (李伯璋), chairman of Taiwan Organ Registry and Sharing Center (TWRSC, 器官捐贈移植登錄中心), Taiwanese patients still participate in organ trading in mainland China, which permits organ trafficking. Lawmakers aim to curb this brutal act by making it a crime at home.

    In May, amendments to the Human Organ Transplantation Act were proposed, introducing new aspects to the act. Firstly, those undertaking organ trades and transplants arranged overseas will face criminal punishment when patients return to the nation.

    Secondly, regulations will make it illegal for organs from criminals sentenced to death to be used in patients.

    According to Chen, the controversial issue lies within the diagnosis of brain death. Criminal law allows forensic scientists only 20 minutes in the execution chamber to determine brain death, Chen said.

    Under such circumstances, criminals may be certified as brain dead prematurely and medical teams may consequently be removing organs from a living person. "Such cases have really happened," Chen said, adding that it is will be against the law to remove organs from an executed criminal. Moreover, many professional medical teams have refused to conduct such operations.

    The third amendment is to mandate officials to enquire whether a person is willing to donate organs after death when reissuing driver's licenses, ID cards, or National Health Insurance cards...

  • The Independent SpainThe Independent | May 18, 2015

    [read the article]


    Spanish police say they have arrested five people suspected of trying to force a Moroccan immigrant to sell one of his kidneys for 6,000 euro (£4,300).

    A police statement said the man tried to pull out of the deal while undergoing clinical tests but the group kidnapped him and threatened to kill him if he did not go ahead.

    The statement said the alleged buyer was a leader of a criminal gang whose son had kidney problems.

    Spain's National Transplant Organisation alerted police to the case...

  • Guardian IranThe Guardian | May 10, 2015

    [read the article]


    By Francesco Alesi and Luca Muzi

    A strong hot wind blows from the desert and, around the Iranian city of Ahvaz, flames from the chimneys of the oil refineries all bend in the direction of the Persian Gulf. On the road, a festive crowd advances though the dust raised by the wind, to the sound of drums. Shiites are celebrating Ashura. Ghaffar goes to his window to watch: he would like to be with them, but he is in a hospital waiting for a kidney transplant.

    In the female transplants unit, the rhythm of the drums drowns out the cheerful chatter of three young patients. Tandis and Chaman are showing Narin the scars on their chest – they have received kidneys and are currently recovering. Narin will have a similar scar soon: she has sold one of her kidneys to Ghaffar...

  • The Straits Times

    The Straits Times | May 14, 2015

    [read the article]


    JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israeli prosecutors on Wednesday charged seven people with international organ trafficking and organising illegal transplants, the justice ministry said.

    The Israeli suspects organised or performed transplants in Azerbaijan, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Kosovo, using paid local donors for Israeli recipients, it said.

    "The accused ran a real business in trafficking organs, on dozens of occasions over the course of years, exploiting the financial distress of the donors and the health crisis of the recipients for economic gain," it said....

    dJERUSALEM (AFP) - Israeli prosecutors on Wednesday charged seven people with international organ trafficking and organising illegal transplants, the justice ministry said.

    The Israeli suspects organised or performed transplants in Azerbaijan, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Kosovo, using paid local donors for Israeli recipients, it said.

    "The accused ran a real business in trafficking organs, on dozens of occasions over the course of years, exploiting the financial distress of the donors and the health crisis of the recipients for economic gain," it said.

    - See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/world/middle-east/story/israel-charges-seven-international-organ-trafficking-20150514#sthash.zYmGO8Q8.dpuf
  • COE Conference on the conventionCouncil of Europe | May 4, 2015


    The Council of Europe has released the conclusions of the high level international conference on the fight against Trafficking in Human Organs which took place in Santiago de Compostela, Spain in March this year.

    The report of these conclusions notes that trafficking in human organs is "a global problem" which "violates the dignity of human beings...[and] undermines trust in the efficiency and fairness of the public health system".

    The report explains the significance and value of the new Convention against trafficking in human organs.

    The conference report is freely available courtesy of the Council of Europe in Español, Français, English and Русский.

    For more information about the Convention, please click here.

     

     

  • ABC on ChinaABC News | April 20, 2015

    [read the article]


    By Huey Fern Tay

    Medical workers ran into the hospital as soon as the helicopter landed in Zhengzhou, central-eastern China.

    The box they were carrying contained a liver and two kidneys that had been donated by a man in the same province.

    A surgeon emerged eight hours later to declare the liver transplant operation a success.

    The wife of the male recipient looked relieved as she thanked the mystery donor and his family for saving her husband's life.

    This touching account was covered by a satellite television channel run by the local province of Henan; one of many reports that have featured in the Chinese media over the past few months.

    Those involved in the campaign to promote organ donations speak excitedly about upcoming projects.

    "In future we may make some documentaries and movies," deputy director of the China Organ Administrative Centre Dr Gao Xinpu said...

  • The ScotsmanThe Scotsman | March 31, 2015

    [Read the article here]


     By Calum MacKellar

    According to the World Health Organisation, the international trafficking of organs is a growing problem with about 10,000 organs being bought and sold on the black market every year around the world. While there is a small market for hearts, lungs and other body parts, it is kidneys that represent the large majority of organs being trafficked since most people are born with two kidneys and it is possible to survive with only one.

    The countries in which organs are being bought from individuals are some of the most impoverished in South America, Africa and Asia, while recipient countries include the United States, Canada, Australia, the UK and Japan.

    Trafficking persons for organs involves a whole host of offenders including recruiters who identify potential organ providers, those who arrange transport to the hospitals, the clinical staff responsible for the surgery and the salesmen who organise the trade. Moreover, because of the involvement of so many national and international players, the trafficking is difficult to police...

  •  the daily beast

    The Daily Beast | April 4, 2015

    [read the article]


    By Bill Katsasos

    BEIRUT — Lebanon has long been known for unrepentant, sometimes shocking you-can-get-anything-you-want commercialism. But there is a business thriving here now that turns the stomach. As Syrian refugees have poured across the border—they now number 1.3 million in a country whose population previously was 4.5 million—human vultures have closed in on them.

    These war profiteers are looking for bits and pieces of people, a kidney here, a cornea there, which can be sold to desperate clients coming from as far away as Finland and Venezuela.
    Who are these middlemen? Their victims do not want to say. Where are the surgeries performed? Another closely guarded secret, and not only here in Lebanon.
    The United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT) defines the illicit trade in organs around the world as “an organized crime involving a host of offenders”...

  • Cambodia DailyThe Cambodia Daily | March 28, 2015

    [read the article]


    By Sek Odom

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Friday sentenced a woman to 15 years in jail for convincing her two cousins and a neighbor to sell their kidneys in Thailand last year.

    Presiding Judge Keo Mony said 29-year-old Nhem Sinuon— who was arrested in Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changva district in July following a 10-day investigation after two of the victims filed complaints with police—was found guilty of illegally exporting human organs, illegal human trafficking and exploitation. 

    Police say Ms. Sinuon had been running a transplant-brokering ring for nearly a year by the time she was arrested, but details of how many such transactions she arranged remain elusive. Ms. Sinuon was found to have forged identification for the two victims so they could pretend to be related to the recipients of their kidneys, which is a requirement under Thai law...

  • Prague Daily MonitorPrague Daily Monitor | March 26, 2015
    [read the article]


    Santiago de Compostela (Spain), 25.03.2015 – Fourteen European states Wednesday signed the Council of Europe Convention against Trafficking in Human Organs, the first international treaty aimed at preventing and combating trafficking in human organs.

    The Convention was opened for signature on the first day of an international conference, organised by the Council of Europe and the Spanish government in Santiago de Compostela, to discuss how to better fight trafficking in human organs, and how to implement the new treaty.

    The convention was signed by Albania, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, the Republic of Moldova, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom. It is open for signature by any state in the world and will enter into force when five states have ratified it.

    “The illicit removal and trafficking of human organs is a serious human rights violation. Donors are often extremely vulnerable individuals exploited by organised crime, which takes advantage of the shortage of organs available for transplantation. International co-operation is essential to fight this crime. I call on states in Europe and beyond to swiftly sign and ratify the convention”, said Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland...

     

  • ITNSITNS | March 20, 2015


    Chicago, IL - The International Transplant Nurses Society (ITNS) has released a position statement on financial incentives for organ donation.

    ITNS endorses the recommendation of the World Health Assembly and the Declaration of Istanbul that financial incentives for living organ donation be prohibited, as they pose unacceptable risks to potential donors and vulnerable communities across the world, undermine efforts to promote equity in donation and transplantation, and may endanger the progress achieved through best practice in altruistic donation programs.

    ITNS endorses the World Health Assembly recommendation that financial incentives for authorization of organ procurement from deceased persons should be prohibited, recognizing that the next of kin may be vulnerable to harm including exploitation and coercion, and concerned that payment of incentives would undermine public trust in the process of deceased donation.

    ITNS further strongly supports the recommendation of the World Health Assembly, the Declaration of Istanbul and other professional organizations that greater efforts be made to remove financial disincentives to living donation, so as to improve supply of organs for transplantation and reduce inequities in access to living donation.

    ITNS rejects recent proposals for the trial of incentives for living donors, due to the fact that a number of evidence-based strategies of proven efficacy in increasing organ donation have yet to be implemented and should be prioritized, and that although trial risks may be reduced in a highly regulated environment, the legalization of trials in developed countries may exert a negative influence on policy and practice in countries with less capacity for effective regulation.

    “This statement communicates the Society's position on financial incentives for organ donation to our members, other healthcare organizations, patients, and the general public and provides guidance for ITNS members in their professional practice and advocacy work on behalf of patients” commented Sandra Cupples, PhD, RN, FAAN, ITNS Research Director.

    For a copy of the position statement, please visit http://www.itns.org/About/About/postitionstatements.html

     

UNODC publishes toolkit for assessment of trafficking in persons for organ removal

Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 5.11.07 pmThe United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has published a toolkit for use in the assessment of trafficking in persons for organ removal.

"The toolkit aims to provide both a general overview of trafficking in persons for the purpose of organ removal and specific tools to assist concerned actors with assessing the phenomenon. The structure of the toolkit reflects this two-pronged approach in that its first part seeks to inform about the context in which trafficking in persons for organ removal can take place, the relevant legislative framework and international guidance, actors and modi operandi as well as good practice responses. The second part has very specific questionnaires that aim to allow for a better understanding of and a more systematic collection of data on the crime."

You can download the Assessment Toolkit here courtesy of UNODC.

Financial Incentives for Living Kidney Donors: Are They Necessary?

AJKD

 2015; Published online June 6


Dominique E. Martin and Sarah L. White

In the face of the perceived failure of altruistic organ donation programs to generate sufficient kidneys to meet demand, introducing financial incentives for living donors is sometimes argued as the only effective strategy by which lives currently lost while awaiting kidney transplantation might be saved. This argument from life-saving necessity is implicit in many incentive proposals, but rarely challenged by opponents. The core empirical claims on which it rests are thus rarely interrogated: that the gap between supply of and demand for donor kidneys is large and growing, the current system cannot meet demand, and financial incentives would increase the overall supply of kidneys and thus save lives. We consider these claims in the context of the United States. While we acknowledge the plausibility of claims that incentives, if sufficiently large, may successfully recruit greater numbers of living donors, we argue that strategies compatible with the existing altruistic system may also increase the supply of kidneys and save lives otherwise lost to kidney failure. We conclude that current appeals to the life-saving necessity argument have yet to establish sufficient grounds to justify trials of incentives.

To read the complete article, click here. (Subscription required.)

Kidney Trafficking in Nepal

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 9.02.57 pmThe Asia Foundation | 23 February, 2015

[Download the report courtesy of The Asia Foundation here]

The recent trend of human trafficking in Nepal shows increasing and complex dynamics among different forms of trafficking, particularly those related to the extraction of human organs. While Nepal's legal framework accepts the extraction of organs as an act of trafficking except as provided for by the law; organ trafficking remains under-reported and eludes conventional state intervention. The Asia Foundation commissioned "Kidney Trafficking in Nepal" to understand the contextual specificities, trends, and patterns of organ trafficking in selected communities of Kavrepalanchowk District to better identify the linkages and critical gaps in the legal, policy, and structural framework. The study provides insights about the socioeconomic, cultural, and political context that impels and perpetuates organ trafficking.

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