Matas Views Ratification of COE Convention Against Trafficking in Human Organs as Critical Step

Last July, Canadian human rights attorney David Matas, while delivering a moving speech in Hong Kong entitled “The 20th anniversary of the repression of Falun Gong, ” outlined the progress of the 2015 Council of Europe Convention against Trafficking in Human Organs, the world’s first treaty of its kind.

Matas described how, “after the mass killing of Falun Gong for their organs, because of the mass killing of Falun Gong for their organs, an international network of laws, ethical standards and remedies have developed to stand against the abuse.”

The COE Convention, approved in March 2015, has now been ratified by fifteen signatory countries. Fourteen European nations are enacting stricter controls concerning procurement of organs for transplant and legislation to criminalize the buying and selling of illegally removed human organs from living or deceased donors.

Matas noted, “Compared to what needs to be done, these changes are small. Yet, they are a harbinger. There is a developing momentum for comprehensive reform in face of the unrelenting and spreading persecution of prisoners of conscience in China through organ transplant abuse.”

He added, “When we remember the tragedy of the repression of Falun Gong we should also remember that long after Communist control of China has ended, has gone, the legacy of organ transplant abuse prevention and remedy will survive. We are here to say also to the perpetrators and all those complicit with them, ‘this must stop’ and ‘we will not forget what you have done.’”