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Compassion, Not Commerce: An Inquiry into Human Organ Trafficking and Organ Transplant Tourism

Anti-Slavery Australia welcomes the report of the Human Rights Sub-Committee for the inquiry into Human Organ Trafficking and Organ Transplant Tourism, released 03 December 2018.


The report marks an important step toward recognising the harm associated with human organ trafficking, raising awareness about this clandestine transnational trade and ensuring an appropriate legal and policy response so as to protect the rights of vulnerable people.



The terms of reference for the inquiry required the Sub-Committee to examine whether it would be practicable or desirable for the offence of Organ Trafficking under division 271 of the Criminal Code to have extraterritorial application and for Australia to accede to the 2014 Council of Europe Convention against Trafficking in Human Organs.



The report examines the nature and prevalence of organ trafficking in a global and domestic context. The report further considers international and domestic frameworks to combat organ trafficking and organ transplant tourism. It considers the question of whether Australia should sign and ratify the European Convention against Trafficking in Human Organs and whether and to what degree extraterritorial jurisdiction should be extended. In addition, the report considers the nature and ethics surrounding the ‘Real Bodies’ commercial anatomical exhibition, which was on display in Australia during the course of the inquiry.



The report specifically recommends that Australia sign and ratify the European Convention against Trafficking in Human Organs. The report further recommends that the Australian Government implement several measures to address human organ trafficking and organ transplant tourism, including by increasing engagement with, and monitoring of, China, establishing a comprehensive organ donation data collection repository and improve data collection practices, amending the Criminal Code to strengthen Australia’s legal prohibitions on organ trafficking, establishing a multi-lingual public health education program, enhancing provision of information and improving organ donation rates through ongoing funding and further research.

Anti-Slavery Australia is currently updating our e-learning course including the module on organ trafficking.



The full report can be accessed here.

 

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