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8 March 2007

Barrett calls for an end to illegal organ trade ahead of International Women’s Day

John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West, has today challenged the Government to take urgent action to clamp down on the growing problem of organ trafficking in developing countries.

Mr Barrett is raising the issue ahead of International Women’s Day which takes place today (8th March). Although outlawed in many countries, recent reports have highlighted a worrying growth in the international trade of human organs on the black market.

In some of the poorest areas of Pakistan the sale of organs is a lucrative business with many agencies openly advertising their services on the internet. Vulnerable people, particularly women are increasingly pressured to sell their organs for relatively small amounts of money, which then fetch thousands of pounds on the black market.

Mr Barrett, recently appointed Under-Secretary of State for International Development has today launched a motion in parliament calling on the Government to take action to clamp down on the industry, which is a particular problem in Pakistan and China.

John Barrett said:

“The current situation is intolerable. The sale of human organs is inhumane and unethical.

“The trade in illegal organs exploits the most vulnerable people in some of the world’s poorest countries where criminal organisations are ruthlessly exploiting the gap between organ supply and demand.”

Mr Barrett, who recently returned from Pakistan highlighted the example of a women whose husband organised for her Kidney to be sold to enable him to purchase a tractor.

Mr Barrett continued:

“Many women are put under extreme pressure to sell organs against their will. We must play no part in encouraging this practice by importing these organs ourselves.

“I will be appealing for our Government to work with international partners to take urgent steps to clamp down on the deeply exploitative trade of organs worldwide.”

Notes

Mr Barrett has tabled the following Early Day Motion in Parliament:

Human Organ Imports from Developing Countries
That this House notes with concern the worrying growth in international trade of human organs from developing countries; recognises that human organ trafficking has become a particularly profitable international trade linked with criminal organisations exploiting the large gap between organ supply and demand; is concerned that the organ trade and so-called 'transplant tourism' preys on the most vulnerable people in some of the worlds poorest countries; notes with concern that there is little reliable data on the extent of this trade; and calls on the Government to be vigilant to ensure that no imported organs from developing countries find their way into the UK; and calls on the Government to work with other international partners to clamp down on what is an exploitative international trade.

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This website was established while I was a Member of Parliament. The site content is being kept online as a source of information, but all forms / email have been disabled.