Nov. 3, 2019; Mumbai, India – Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting, DAFOH, was honored to receive the prestigious Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice 2019, for exemplary work in raising awareness and helping to combat forced organ harvesting. Initiated by the, Harmony Foundation, and endorsed by Missionaries of Charities, the recognition has been awarded each year since 2005.
The Harmony Foundation selected Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting this year due to the organization’s achievements in the advancement of social justice and human rights, in “strong support for the nomination in the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize list, for DAFOH’s continued upholding of ethical practices in medicine, and above all, in its fight against organ trafficking.”
A representative of the Harmony Foundation stated in a communication, “The organization’s decade-long struggle for raising awareness and informing the medical community along with the society at large is truly notable. The focus given on the unethical organ harvesting, particularly on Falun Gong ethnic group, wherein some observers have reported tens of thousands being killed for this heinous trade, is much needed in the current world. Noteworthy and admirable is DAFOH’s ability to initiate a petition to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, by gathering more than 2 million signatures worldwide within 3 years calling for an end to China’s forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience. DAFOH’s report at the 3rd UK Round Table Briefing of Forced Organ Harvesting at Westminster Parliament in October 2018, about the organization’s findings was a spine chilling account on the new form of ‘cold genocide’ normalizing this crime against humanity perpetrated against this marginalized group.”
Accepting the award on behalf of the international medical NGO at the ceremony in Mumbai, India, DAFOH executive director Dr. Torsten Trey expressed his appreciation and highlighted the organization’s work to raise awareness of forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in China. China is reliant on taking prisoners organs for lucrative fast track transplant operations, with different groups and minorities targeted as victims.
(Photo courtesy of the Harmony Foundation)
“In the case of Falun Gong, forced organ harvesting became a self-financing, self-propelling method to silence and eradicate the spiritual practice with the potential purpose to prevent Falun Gong practitioners from telling the world about its good, peaceful practice and its universally endorsed principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance”, Trey said.
The forced organ harvesting of practitioners started after the persecution of Falun Gong began in 1999. “The systematic, state run persecution and forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners, carried out nationwide with the help of the notorious 610 Office, was aimed at eradicating the practice in China”, Trey added. “Once, we understand that the intention behind the forced organ harvesting is not limited to financial profiting but the eradication of a spiritual practice, it also leads to solutions to combat it. For example, publicly stating that Falun Gong is a notable spiritual practice that appreciates positive, universal values like truthfulness, benevolence, and tolerance would unhinge the intent of silencing and eradicating the practice, and contribute to ending the forced organ harvesting.”
(Photo courtesy of the Harmony Foundation)
The award was noted internationally:
Founded in 2005, Harmony Foundation is an international NGO, which works in the realm of Social Justice. Its raison d’être is the unbiased establishment and strengthening of social cohesion among various communities for the benefit of all without any discrimination. Now in its 15th year, its awards are part of an annual event that celebrates and commemorates the legacy of Mother Teresa who was canonized a Saint by Pope Francis.
Previous recipients have been Ms. Malala Yousufzai, a Nobel laureate; H.H. The Dalai Lama; the current Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo; Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad; former Deputy Speaker of the United Kingdom’s House of Lords, Baroness Caroline Cox; and Aid Groups like Medicines Sans Frontiers (Doctors Without Borders), the largest volunteer medical organization worldwide, and White Helmets, who provided aid to war-ravaged Syria.