Next MUNA conference:
February 6, 7 & 8, 2019

The question of preventing, combating and punishing trafficking in human organs

Issue in GA 2: Human Rights

The prevention of trafficking in human organs has been listed as a top priority by the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (GIFT). People that have been made victim of human trafficking, with the purpose of organ removal are mostly taken from vulnerable social groups, such as people who live in poverty or are part of a minority. The traffickers, criminals or doctors, are usually part of a crime group that is organised internationally. In 2010, 11,000 organs were sold on the black market, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). According to them, one fifth of all transplanted kidneys (70,000) are trafficked each year.

Another organisation that keeps track of global organ trafficking is Organ’s Watch. Cases of organ trafficking have been proven in countries such as China, South Africa, Indonesia, India and Brazil. In most of these cases, the organs go from poor to rich people in countries such as America, and on a global scale, the trafficking mainly goes from the poorer South to the richer North.

Organ trafficking is a market that has been growing massively over the past few years, since organ demand is very high at the moment. Over 123,000 people are on an organ donor’s list right now. Research by the WHO has found that only one in ten people in need of a new kidney manages to get one. This is the organ that is most in demand. A kidney transplant costs around $500,000. Due to the fact that the American healthcare system is not profitable for people that need this sort of organ transplant, many people seek cheaper methods of organ transplantation.

Many doctors seem to either be involved or don’t ask questions as to where the organs came from. This way, trafficking in human organs is a growing problem in our current society, where inequality and discrimination affect certain social groups.

Useful links (see: chapter 2, Executive Summary for useful information)



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