Organ Trafficking

The gruesome violation of human rights is growing.


Via Bagnera at night.

As busy high schoolers, we often don’t hear about the gross human rights violations occurring around the world. There are many significant issues that people don’t keep up with, and organ trafficking is one of them.

Organ trafficking has been on the rise all around the world this year. Back in January, a six-year-old Chinese boy was found near his house after having his eyes gouged out and being abandoned by the traffickers. In February, two Brazilian surgeons were imprisoned for taking and selling organs from their patients, and in March, a Lebanese mayor was arrested in Spain for paying poor citizens in an attempt to obtain a liver. Traffickers have found a substantial business on the black market because of the increase in organ failures and the limited supply of donated organs.

All forms of trafficking are appalling, but organ trafficking is arguably the most gruesome form of it. People have their vital organs taken out against their will and sold by traffickers who want to make money on the black market. The majority of the time, the organs are not taken out through clean surgical procedures and the victim is rarely anesthetized. The most sickening fact is that most of the victims are healthy children and young adults the same age as Westminster students. If they manage to live after the procedure, they are usually left on the streets to find their own way home or die.

There are primarily three types of organ trafficking victims: people who are be forced or tricked into having their organs taken out of their bodies, people who formally or informally agree to donate their organs in exchange for money (but are often deceived and never receive the money), and people who are completely unaware of their their organs being taken out because they are in the middle of a treatment against an ailment.

While this issue has no immediate solution, organizations that work against it such as Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH) do exist. The Coalition for Organ-Failure Solutions (COFS) is another that works “to end organ trafficking and enhance altruistic and deceased organ donation” by providing support for victims, carrying out prevention initiatives at the policy-level, and raising awareness about the issue.

Teenagers can help by donating to such organizations or by raising awareness and encouraging other people to keep up with some human rights issues. It only takes a few minutes to check a website like, which reports global human rights issues, or the local news website. At the heart of human rights violations lies the fact that people are being denied their dignity and their right to life. No matter how busy we might be, we should be aware of these issues and be compassionate towards the victims.