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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Organ Trafficking: Current Trends and Policy Challenges

Monday, January 23, 2012 - 10:00am
2118 Rayburn House Office Building


Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a briefing on the growing trend in the global trafficking of human organs.

The trade in human organs is flourishing, having reached unthinkable levels in recent years due to widespread poverty and a lack of governmental and international response sufficient to address the problem. Trafficking in organs is an organized crime which is often committed by inducing consent, engaging in coercion, or committing outright theft. The offense often involves a host of offenders, including traffickers, doctors, hospitals, brokers, and knowing recipients. Victims most commonly belong to traditionally vulnerable populations, including women and children, the poor, homeless persons, migrant workers, and prisoners. Victims are often afraid to report the abuse due to a lack of knowledge about their rights, and out of fear they could be punished by their abusers or by law enforcement. As a result, many victims continue to suffer long after the initial abuse, due to a lack of proper medical care and out of shame over what was done to them.

This briefing will explore trends in organ trafficking and possible ways to combat the organ trade. Panelists will provide an overview of the issue; discuss recent findings about trafficking in Egypt, India, and Bangladesh; assess legal issues and other challenges in combating organ trafficking; and offer policy recommendations.

If you have any questions, please contact Colleen Costello (Rep. McGovern) or Kalinda Stephenson (Rep. Wolf) at 202-225-3599, or send an email to

Hosted by:

James P. McGovern, Member of Congress
Co-Chair, TLHRC
Frank R. Wolf, Member of Congress
Co-Chair, TLHRC


  • Dr. Debra Budiani-Saberi, Executive Director and Founder of the Coalition for Organ-Failure Solutions, and Visiting Research Associate, Center for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania
    Written statement
  • Dr. Francis Delmonico, Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, President-elect of The Transplantation Society, and Advisor to the World Health Organization
  • Dr. Monir Moniruzzaman, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology and the Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences, Michigan State University
    Written statement
112th Congress