The Protocol on Trafficking in Persons and Transplant Tourism

by David Matas

Prepared for a side event to the Conference of States Parties, Vienna, Austria.

Does the Protocol on Trafficking in Persons of the Convention on Transnational Organized Crime encompass transplant tourism?  That is a question I want to address.  My answer to that question is yes.  Getting to that answer though takes some explaining.

I should state up front that, though this question is general, I approach it from quite a particular perspective.  I wrote a report with David Kilgour in June 2006 which concluded that prisoners of conscience in China, practitioners of the spiritually based set of exercises Falun Gong, were being killed for their organs which were being sold at high prices to transplant patients, mostly transplant tourists.  We produced a second version in of our report in January 2007 and a third version in book form under the title Bloody Harvest in November 2009.   Our report prompted the founding of a non-governmental organization Doctors against Forced Organ Harvesting or DAFOH.  I and Dr. Torsten Trey, the founder of DAFOH, co-edited a book of essays on organ transplant abuse in China published in August 2012 under the name State Organs. Ethan Gutmann, in research with Jaya Gibson, announced in June 2010, and, in a book titled The Slaughter published in August 2014, wrote that the killing of innocents for their organs had spread from Falun Gong to Tibetans, Eastern Lightning house Christians and Uighurs.