Indian Transplant Newsletter Vol. 13 Issue No.: 40 (Nov 2013-Feb 2014)
Study on Organ trafficking in India
Indian Transplant Newsletter.
Vol. 13 Issue No.: 40 (Nov 2013-Feb 2014)
Print ISSN 0972 - 1568
Human trafficking for organ removal continues to rear its ugly head in India despite the government legislating the Transplantation of Human Organs Act in 1994 to curb the organ trade, a study has found. Patients still purchase kidneys from low-income people for transplantation.
In Tamil Nadu, Erode tops the list with approximately 2000 organ trade victims. The study was conducted after interviewing 153 victims in Erode, Chennai and some villages of West Bengal and Karnataka. Of the 153 victims, 56 were from Erode and 47 from Chennai. While 87% of the victims in Chennai were females, 57% of the Erode victims were women.
“In Chennai, the victims of human trafficking for organ removal are largely part of the fishing communities who lost their homes in the 2004 tsunami. The traffickers began to target hundreds of people after the tsunami with good ‘offers’. Brokers even provided a home where such organ ‘donors’ could reside temporarily following surgery. This also helped the brokers to attract more individuals towards the sale,” said the study conducted by Coalition for Organ-Failure Solutions (COFS), a nonprofit international and human rights organization. The victims from Chennai included those whose kidneys were commercially removed between 1986 and 2011.
Debra A. Budiani-Saberi, a member on the study team, said, “Everyone of the over 2000 victims that COFS identified and the 56 victims COFS-India interviewed in Erode had previously worked in the handloom industry, was unemployed thereafter and at the time of the organ removal. Victims interviewed in this project reported that debt was the primary reason to sell a kidney (87.7%) and they resorted to the sale with the hope of eliminating debt and transcending poverty.”
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