Human Trafficking and International Law

Human trafficking is described as the illicit sale of people for the sole purpose of sexual slavery, commercial sex tourism, and donor trafficking. It is a macabre criminal practice that degrades the quality of human rights and the sanctity of life, and the transfer of people from one location to another against their will is not only illegal but also inhuman. Thieves and smugglers are reaping the benefits of what has been described as modern-day slavery. Globally, the illegal trade is believed to have produced more than $150 billion. Every year, thousands of vulnerable children and adults fall into the care of predatory human smugglers who transport them from their home country. The vice has had a devastating impact on families and societies throughout the world. It has torn apart family members from their loved as well as friends. The following paper seeks to understand the causes and impact of human trafficking internationally (Budiani‐Saberi and Delmonico 928). It further endeavors to understand the different international laws that apply in condoning human trafficking.

Human trafficking is a great and heinous crime that violates human rights. It poses a threat to national security as well as destabilizes the sustainable development and the exercises of the rule of law. Tracking has been deeply defined as the transportation recruitment harboring or transfer of persons by use force and coercion. Human traffickers have mastered deceptions way of luring the unsuspecting victims into their racketeers. They promise their victim of job opportunities far from the country of origin as way of enticing them to join (Francis and Francis 290). Fraud and abduction are also common among human traffickers as they take hostage of their victims. Payments have also been used as a bait to attract citizens in accepting the opportunities offered by human traffickers. They are requested to contribute money for their transport and the process of acquiring jobs. Unknowing victims part money to the traffickers only to be exploited in their destination. Every part of the world is affected by human phenomenon. Countries paly a specific role in a ding the free pay. They act as the origin transit or the destination

Forms of human trafficking

Human trafficking has been recorder to take different from depending on the exploitation intended. There are three common forms of human trafficking that a commonly known. They include sex trafficking debt bondage and forced labor. Forced labor ranks as the most common form of human trafficking that prevalent in the world today. Debt bondage involves the forceful coercion to work in order to pay off a debt (Gallagher 990). On the other hand sex trafficking which has been known to disproportionately affect women and children than men is the forced participation in commercial prostitution for the benefit of the enforcer. More than 80% of the people trafficked around the world are women and girls. Prostitution has been one of the major perception of human trafficking.

The increase in the prevalence of terminal illnesses has led to the rise in the demand for graft organs. Hospitals in major countries have been unable to meet the demand for body organs requiring patients to wait for a long time before they receive them. This has created a black market trade for human organs that is driven by the sharp rise in demand. Human traffickers have deviously steeped to act as human organ supplier. They have resorted to abducting innocent civilians for the sole purpose of using their kidneys (Fitzpatrick 1143). This is a relatively new form of trafficking that is wreaking havoc among the world. The gruesome nature of heinous acts is a clear indication of how evil human traffickers are in their search for money. They have recorded to conduct clandestine operations with minimal medical procedures and follow up (Aronowitz and Isitman). The trafficking has recently been referred to as the donor trafficking. Report suggest that with a rise in terminal illness as well as the growing aging population it is clear that the demand for organs will sharply rises. There are some indication that the form of trafficking is bound to rise due as result of its lucrativeness.

Donor trafficking

Donor trafficking is also known as organ trade or organ harvesting. It includes the coerced and forceful removal of body organs for resale in the black market. It is rising as booming form of trafficking due to the high demand for body organs. Globally it is a criminal offense to transport or transplant body parts form different sources that are not affiliate with medical facility or a hospital (Fitzpatrick 1143). Human traffickers are circumvent the legality of this trade by exploiting desperate families that are eager to pay anything for the needed body parts.

According to the American transplant foundation more than 120,000 patients are on the waiting list for essential organs in the body. Over 20 patients die every day in America due to lack of organs for transplants. Kidneys Intestines corneas liver and bone marrow rank as the most sought after body organs (Budiani‐Saberi and Delmonico 928). There is high demand for the organs throughout the United States. The United States has been ranked as one of the highest importers of body organs internationally. It is obvious that waiting for body organs legally is lengthy. This where human traffickers have taken advantage of the operation of families across the United States to create a black market for body organs.

Organ trade is made complex by lo economic level in some parts of the United States. In an investigative report carried out by the NBC Chicago it is evident that some residents are willing to offer their body part in exchange of money. Some have been advertising themselves over the internet waiting for wiling buyer. Some of the resident have been coned by donor trafficker who pose as willing buyers (Budiani‐Saberi and Delmonico 928). They dupe the resident into giving them the organs without compensating them. The willingness to sell body part in the black market further complicate the effort being done to control donor trafficking.

Donor trafficking is a complex business that involve several perpetrators. Unlike other forms of trafficking that do not necessarily require professionals, donor tracking requires the involvement of unscrupulous doctors and nurses who provide the necessary expertise and medication for the clandestine operations to harvest the organs. It further requires the involvement of the medical facilities for them to accept the illegal transplants for the recipients (Aronowitz and Isitman). Traffickers are on the ground looking for victims to trick into giving up their organs for a presumed fee. In most case the unwilling donors are only compensated or coned. They dupe the victims to travel to specific countries providing the migration papers and then harvest their organs leaving them for the dead.

Traffickers pose as con artists to victim who are willing to sell their organs for a fee. Most are found in poor neighborhoods where there inadequate income of the residents. The con artist later buy the organs cheaply mostly for a few thousand dollars and sell them for hundreds of thousands of dollars. They take advantage of the desperation of the patient families in receiving the organs (Gallagher 990). It is important to note there doctor have also been discovered to be participating in these illegal trade. Some have been known to recommend treatment of nonexistent treatment for their patients in order to harvest their organs illegally. This criminal actives are on the rise with increase in the demand for the body organs.

Hospitals are on the spotlight for favoritism and corruption in moving patients up the on the waiting lists. There are case where rich individuals have been preferred more than other the poorer patients. There are suspicions that some medical facilities accepts money from patients in exchange of improving their ease in acquiring a transplant. This further plays a role in fueling the demand for organ throughout the United States. The role of the insurers in facilitating organ trade is also questioned. Insurer are thought to legitimize the illegal trade by reimbursing and paying the follow up treatment of the donor and the recipient. In most cases donor is said to be relative to the recipients. There should thorough verification by all healthcare stakeholders in the process of transplant so as to reduce the demand for illegal organs.

Some critics have been calling for the legalization of compensation for donating an organs as way of lowering the demand for organs in the market. The proposal stipulates the development of proper legislations governing the recipients and donors while clearing stipulating the compensation scheduled for the donation of a body organ (Fitzpatrick 1143). It’s though that legalizing compensation for body parts donation will ease the mounting pressure in the black market. This however is prone to make organ transplant expensive and out rich for low income earners.

International Laws Governing Donor trafficking.

Donor trafficking has grown to become an international problem all over the world. There are rising cases of the problem all over the world. This has led the international community to step in develop guidelines for conduct safe and acceptable transplants. It is important to note organ transplant sometimes provide the lifeline to patients who are in the brink of death. It further rank as one of the most important medical inventions of the 20th century that have save d lives all over the world (Aronowitz and Isitman). Its forms an integral part of the healthcare system that is aimed at restoring the health of millions of individuals. However the rise in the black market demand for body organs ought to curtailed to prevent it from further violation of basic human rights. The preparation of international laws governing organ transplant will be essential in curbing donor trafficking.

The Declaration of Istanbul on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism ranks as one of the most important internal legislation condemning donor trafficking. The declaration was the first document to clearly outline the definition of organ trafficking. It defined organ trafficking as the

“the recruitment, transport, transfer, harboring or receipt of living or deceased persons or their organs by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability, or of the giving to, or the receiving by, a third party of payments or benefits to achieve the transfer of control over the potential donor, for the purpose of exploitation by the removal of organs for transplantation” (Aronowitz and Isitman)

This formed the basis of future definitions by other treaties declarations and conventions. It further helped create a transcendent for the formation of country specific legislation curbing the organ trafficking. The declaration is implemented and promoted by the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group. It is also endorsed by the world Health Organization. The draft Council of Europe convention against trafficking Human Organs is another convention formed in 2014 (Francis and Francis 290). It was formed to curb the growing black market in organ transplant. It defines organ transplant as the removal of body organs form deceased or alive human being with the intention of selling them. The council remains as the only international treaty that clearly tackles trafficking in human organs. It endeavors to prevent and fight donor trafficking while defining the rights of the victims. It also provides the necessary avenues of the process of ensuring cooperation and the international and national among member countries. The United Nations developed an assessment kit that is necessary for identifying the legitimate and genuine donor.

The presence of several international laws governing the spread of organ trade have not been fully effective. This can be attributed manly to the complexity of human trafficking and its intersection with organized crime. The presence of impoverished donors further make it hard to control their willing needs to contribute due to the promise of financial gain. The black market seems to be blossoming with the increase in demand for organs and also the expansion of the waiting list (Fitzpatrick 1143). The black market has been increasing at an astounding rate that is risking the lives innocent victims whore are abducted and their body parts ruthlessly taken away from them.

It is important to note that the failure can be largely blamed on the localization of effort to top organ trade by the domestic authorities. This ignore the fact that donor trafficking is an international crime against humanity that should have a wholesome transboundary approach. The already established treaties and conventions to do have any legal binding on their member states (Francis and Francis 290). The state therefore make their own legislation that are not compatible with the others. There is need for the establishment of cooperation between international criminalization of organ trafficking and member states.

The fact that organ trafficking cuts across several profession there is need for a wholesome approach that involves medical legal and ethical perspectives. Legally there is need for the establishment of legally legislations that is generally victim focused emphasizing on the removal of the cause of organ trafficking (Budiani‐Saberi and Delmonico 928). Removal of the cause of organ trafficking remains as the most important measure that will help in solving organ trade. Research need to e undertaken medically to evaluate alternative ways of meeting the high demand for organs in the healthcare sector.

A reduction in the demand will consequently lead to the drop in the supply in the black market. It’s evident that criminal based approaches have failed to combat that illicit organ trade. A shift in perspective may include approaching the different factors that lead to an increase in demand for organs (Aronowitz and Isitman). Medical professional tour operators and health insurer must be clearly vetted since it’s evident they play an essential role in fueling the organ trade. The establishment of stringent legislations that are aimed ensuring the professional do not participate in illegal organ trade. In the long-term the healthcare sector should be focused in reducing health conditions that cause organ failures while sourcing for alternative ways of scouring organs. This will help me the rising demand for organs in the medical facilities.


The obscurity of donor trafficking is shocking to behold. The brutality and the gruesomeness of the perpetrators leaves many victims on its trial.. The inadequate understanding of the whole process and the complexity of its criminality has been the main problem in handing donor trafficking. Illegal organ trade leads to the loss of impoverished individuals as the perpetrators seek to eel their organ to the highest bidder. This is a gross violation of the basic human rights which every states and government must vehemently protected. It is inhuman to commercialize body parts and engage in forced and coercive organ harvesting. There should be wholesome approach towards solving this internationally human crime. All perspectives legal and medical needs to be included in the development of solutions to stop the demand for organs.

Works Cited

Aronowitz, Alexis A., and Elif Isitman. “Trafficking of Human Beings for the Purpose of Organ Removal: Are (International) Legal Instruments Effective Measures to Eradicate the Practice?.” (2013).

Francis, Leslie P., and John G. Francis. “Stateless crimes, legitimacy, and international criminal law: The case of organ trafficking.” Criminal Law and Philosophy 4.3 (2010): 283-295.

Gallagher, Anne. “Human rights and the new UN protocols on trafficking and migrant smuggling: A preliminary analysis.” Human Rights Quarterly 23.4 (2001): 975-1004.

Fitzpatrick, Joan. “Trafficking and a human rights violation: The complex intersection of legal frameworks for conceptualizing and combating trafficking.” Mich. J. Int’l L. 24 (2002): 1143.

Budiani‐Saberi, Debra A., and Francis L. Delmonico. “Organ trafficking and transplant tourism: a commentary on the global realities.” American Journal of Transplantation 8.5 (2008): 925-929.

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