Topic Submissions

Trafficking of Human Beings for the Purpose of Organ Removal: Are (International) Legal Instruments Effective Measures to Eradicate the Practice?

  • Alexis A. Aronowitz
  • Elif Isitman
Keywords: ORGAN TRAFFICKING, ILLEGAL ORGAN TRADE, HUMAN TRAFFICKING, ORGAN DONORS, ORGAN RECIPIENTS, ORGAN DONATIONS, PRESUMED CONSENT, LEGAL INSTRUMENTS, INTERNATIONAL LEGISLATION, SUPRANATIONAL LEGISLATION, DOMESTIC LEGISLATION, EXTRA-LEGAL MEASURES.

Abstract

Organ trafficking is perhaps the most obscure form of human trafficking. It is an international problem with transnational dimensions and involves the intersection between the world of organized crime, impoverished organ donors, sick recipients and unscrupulous medical staff. This article starts out by exploring the global patterns of organ trafficking, highlighting the physical and psychological harm caused to victims. The statistics on organ transplants and patterns of organ trafficking as well as the social, economic and legal dimensions of this type of crime are examined. The article subsequently continues with a discussion of the domestic, regional and international legal and semi-legal instruments established to battle organ trafficking and reflects upon whether or not these instruments are effective in curtailing this growing problem. The article ends with a discussion of alternative approaches to deal with the problem of organ trafficking and makes a case for more problem-driven solutions, such as increased extra-legal measures, international cooperation and a focus upon the causes and victims of organ trafficking rather than focusing upon criminal law alone.
Published
2013-12-05
Section
Topic Submissions