The illicit trade in human organs reveals the dark complexities of humanity, medical ethics, and law in the global economy. The practice of human organ trafficking is fueled by increasing demand and supplied by donors coerced through force, threat, or the promise of payment. Though it is primarily centered on kidneys, the human organ trade also includes the sale of livers, hearts, pancreases, lungs, corneas and human tissue.

The kidney is the most commonly transplanted organ, with a global estimate of 68,500 transplants performed per year. This is followed by the liver, heart, lung, and pancreas[1]. Experts have estimated that globally, 5 to 10 percent of kidney transplants are a result of trafficking.

Organ Traffickers

Organ traffickers operate in the vast chasm that exists between the world’s wealthy and the world’s poor. In developing countries, economic stagnation and deficiencies in law enforcement combine with increasing globalization and improved communications technology to create the perfect space for this criminal enterprise. The lack of economic opportunities forces people to consider options they might otherwise find dangerous or reprehensible, while inadequate law enforcement enables the traffickers to operate with little fear of being arrested or fined[2].

In short, for the developing world, there are very few redemptive aspects to the illicit organ trade. Therefore, it is high time that there must be properly framed, stringent laws and those must be implemented properly so as to curb the menaces of such dangerous activities.

[1] Newsweek, January 10, 2009

[2] Transnational Crime In The Developing World by Jeremy Haken; February 2011

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Post Contributed By:

Souradeep Rakshit
Asst. Prof. of Law
IILS, Dagapur



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