By Sven Heymann:
Dramatic increase in worldwide illegal organ trade
14 July 2012
Since the global financial crash in 2008, the worldwide illegal organ trade has increased dramatically. Until recently, those looking to sell parts of their bodies generally came from the so-called developing countries; now, the phenomenon can be found in large parts of Europe.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), in 2010 there were approximately 107,000 donated organs worldwide— both legal and illegal. Kidneys made up about two thirds of all transplanted organs. According to a report in the Guardian, WHO doctor Luc Noel expects that about 10 percent of all transplants are performed illegally. On the other hand, the California human rights organisation Organ Watch talks of 15,000-20,000 illegal kidney transplants per year.
But the transplants carried out represent only a fraction of the actual need. Only one in ten requests are currently realised, according to the Guardian report. The profits that can be achieved are huge, says Noel.
Gangs of organ traffickers conduct a million-dollar business in the illegal trade. Media reports consistently speak of up to US$200,000 dollars (€160,000) being demanded for a single organ on the black market. The illegal traffickers exploit the social plight of the donors, who urgently need money but often receive only a fraction of the total. Many are cheated out of any money.
The economic crisis is the main cause of the surge in the illegal human organ trade. The European Union (EU) openly admits this. The website BioEdge quotes the EU special prosecutor Jonathan Ratel saying, “Thanks to the global financial crisis the organ trade is a growth industry”. He speaks about a mutual vulnerability to criminal organ dealers: on the one hand, chronic poverty prevails; on the other side, there are well-off patients who would do anything to ensure their survival.
Jim Feehally, a professor of renal medicine at the University Hospitals of Leicester in the UK, brings out the class nature of trafficking in organs more clearly. The main problem is exploitation, the Austrian newspaper Der Standard quotes him saying. While the rich can buy not only organs, but also afford medical treatment, the donors are often denied such care.
Kosovo: West Obstructs Trial Over Murder-For-Organs Crimes: here.
The Bangladesh poor selling organs to pay debts: here.
- African Girl Sold To Europe For ‘Organ Harvesting’ (smoothsam.wordpress.com)
- Organ Harvesting Horror – Little Girl Stolen for Her Organs (independentsentinel.com)