International community reacts to forced organ harvesting with an array of initiatives in 2014

Europe

After the European Parliament has adopted a resolution to end the forced organ harvesting in China in December 2013, the international community has reacted with an array of activities, initiatives and other measures.

On March 19, 2014, the influential European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) endorsed the EU Resolution and EESC President Henri Malosse hosted a conference entitled “Organ Harvesting in China: Europe must act now” at the EESC in Brussels. President Malosse called the organ harvesting practice in China a disgrace for humanity.

In March 2014, an Italian Senate commission on human right passed a resolution (English translation) declaring that the Chinese Communist Party has harvested the organs of tens of thousands of prisoners, and called on the Italian government to take a range of measures against the practice.

On July 9, 2014, the Council of Europe has adopted an international convention on unethical organ trafficking. The convention of the Council of Europe acknowledges in an explanatory document that the existence of a world-wide illicit trade in human organs for the purposes of transplantation is a well-established fact and that the existence of this market presents a clear danger to both individual and public health and is in breach of human rights and fundamental freedoms and an affront to the very notion of human dignity and personal liberty. The convention calls on governments to establish as a criminal offense the illegal removal of human organs from living or deceased donors where

    1. the removal is performed without the free, informed and specific consent of the living or deceased donor, or, in the case of the deceased donor, without the removal being authorised under its domestic law;
    2. in exchange for the removal of organs, the living donor, or a third party, receives a financial gain or comparable advantage;
    3. in exchange for the removal of organs from a deceased donor, a third party receives a financial gain or comparable advantage.

On July 11, 2014, the First Symposium on Ethics in Transplantation has been held in the Italian Parliament. Doctors, lawyers and representatives from institutions have discussed how to promote ethical standards and legislative actions to eradicate unethical organ harvesting.

America

In February 2014, the Illinois House of Representatives passes H.Res. 730 condemning China’s forced organ harvesting, urging the United States to investigate and to stop doctors who used organs from prisoners from entering the country.

On March 12, 2014, Canada’s representative on human rights to the United Nations, Anne-Tamara Lorre, raised the issue of organ harvesting in China without consent at the U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva and mentioned the 1.5 million signature DAFOH petition addressed to the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights in 2013.

Australia

On July 16, 2014, members of the Australian Parliament held a meeting as the parliamentary friendship group Parliamentarians Against Forced Organ Harvesting (PAFOH) in Canberra.  According to the Australian Parliament website the purpose of the group is to raise awareness among Parliamentarians of the issue of forced organ harvesting and transplant tourism across the world.

Statements

In March 2014, representatives of The Transplantation Society and the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group sent an open letter to the Chinese president Xi Jinping asking the Chinese Government for an immediate and sustained resolve, to monitor compliance by Chinese professionals in performing organ donation and transplantation in accordance with NHFPC and international standards.

On March 7, 2014, the China Daily USA quotes former Vice-Minister of Health Huang Jiefu saying “we will regulate the issue by including voluntary organ donations by executed prisoners in the nation’s public organ donation system to help ensure an open and fair practice,” and thereby indicating that China does not plan to bring the organ harvesting from prisoners to a complete end as previously announced.

In April, Wang Haibo, director of the China Organ Transplant Response System Research Center at the Ministry of Health, affirmed Huang Jiefu’s statement in an interview with the German ARD.  Wang said, “Many things are beyond our control, therefore, we can not announce any time schedule.”

 

 
 

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