02/07/2017, 09.21

Former Chinese Minister to speak today at the Vatican on organ trafficking

A Chinese delegation is participating in a summit organized by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. For a long time and with so many tests, China has been accused of feeding the trafficking of organs harvesting them from the bodies of executed prisoners, even without their permission. From 2015 in China a law admits only voluntary donations, but the figures between donors and transplants do not correspond.


Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Huang Jiefu, former vice-minister of health and current head of the Committee for transplants and organ donations, will speak this afternoon in the Vatican, at a summit on organ donation and trafficking. China has often been accused of harvesting organs from executed prisoners and the presence of the Chinese delegation at the Vatican is seen as an attempt to improve the image of the country from the international point of view.

The summit organized by the Pontifical Academy of Science aims to highlight the extent of organ trafficking and to lay the foundations for a moral commitment with a declaration to be signed by all participants, also opening up to the aid of government personalities and the media to combat this trade .

Organ trafficking and transplant tourism is vast and widespread in Asia, Mexico, Latin America, Egypt, Pakistan, India. The receptors are sick people from Canada, the US, Western Europe, the Gulf countries, Australia who move temporarily to those countries to receive the organ they need.

The sale of organs due to poverty and the kidnapping of children and adults to use their organs has become a business and a new form of slavery that exploits migrants, refugees and forced laborers.

For a long time and with so many tests, China has been accused of feeding the trafficking of organs by harvesting them from the bodies of executed prisoners, even without their permission.

In 2015 a law was passed that allows organ donations only from civilians and only on a voluntarily basis. This has become "the only legitimate source of organ transplants" as Huang said in an interview with the PA. But human rights groups and organizations against forced organ donation say that without independent verification it is hard to believe to China.

In the past Huang acknowledged that China harvested organs from prisoners sentenced to death and in 2011 said that at least 90% of transplants that take place in the country come from the corpses of executed prisoners. Now, however, with the new law, according to Huang this practice is reaching normalcy and the majority of transplants are done with voluntary donations.

Human rights organizations, however, point out the imbalance in figures. In 2015, for example, official figures speak of 2,776 citizens who donated 7758 organs. But there were 11 thousand transplants.

It must be said that even today, the removal of organs from prisoners is not forbidden in China. It can be done on a voluntary basis. "If China wants to convince the world, it must pass a law that prohibits the use of organs from prisoners," said Dr. Huige Li, a professor at the University of Mainz and member of the organization Doctors Against Forced removal of organs.

The Academy of Science has received a lot of criticism because of Chinese participation, but the Vatican has not withdrawn its invitation to Huang Jiefu, and to another presenter, Wang Haibo.

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