The Big Business Behind Black Organ Harvesting
The World Health Organisation estimates that the illegal organ trade, christened ‘the red market’ is worth over $1 billion each year. Africa continues to be a lucrative market for the international buyers due to weak laws and enforcement, porous borders and poverty. Stories abound of agents to international buyers in pitching tents in conflict zones of Africa targeting vulnerable people.
In fact it is argued that everywhere there are poor people, there are organ brokers. An organ buyer spends on average $150,000 for vital organs like kidney, liver or heart. A willing donor will usually get $5,000 with the middleman equally getting their share.
Such lucrative offers drive desperate Africans to freely trade their organs. But there are other harrowing tales of thousands of people tricked or drugged and their organs harvested without their knowledge.
Kidneys remains the most trafficked organ world over because a patient or donor can survive with only one of them. It is estimated that approximately 7,000 kidneys are harvested and trafficked illegally each year. Indeed in 2010 the World Health Organization obtained some 11,000 illegally harvested organs most of them from countries involved in conflict.
Child protection charities warned that criminal gangs were attempting to exploit the demand for organ transplants in Britain.
Bharti Patel, the chief executive of Ecpat UK, the child protection charity, said: “Traffickers are exploiting the demand for organs and the vulnerability of children. It’s unlikely that a trafficker is going to take this risk and bring just one child into the UK. It is likely there was a group.”
While there is a black market for organs such as hearts, lungs and livers, kidneys are the most sought after organs because one can be removed from a patient without any ill effects.
The process involves a number of people including the recruiter who identifies the victim, the person who arranges their transport, the medical professionals who perform the operation and the salesman who trades the organ.
There are thousands of untold children, men, and women who have been victims of Black organ harvesting. If you know of any not mentioned in this article, leave a comment below with a link or details. The more of these stories we bring to light, the sooner we can end this gruesome and horrific practice.