Australian and Global Developments with the Organ Harvesting and Transplant Tourism Issue

AUSTRALIA 2012 – 2016

1. Motion presented in the Australian Senate, February 2016;query=Id%3A%22chamber%2Fhansardr%2Fa8ddab c5-4310-4bda-a2fd-c9e6a54e12dc%2F0276%22

2. Senate Statement July 16 2014 on forced organ harvesting 9018%201a99b5a96812/0128/hansard_frag.pdf;fileType=application%2Fpdf

3. Criminal Code Act 1995 amendment – March 2013

The Criminal Code Act 1995 amendment of 7 March 2013 which includes offences of forced labour, forced marriage, organ trafficking and harbouring a victim is a positive development.
However, we note the amendment is limited to addressing organ transplant abuse only where the source of the organ is an Australian or the abuse occurs in Australia, and it:

  • does not make it a crime for Australians to travel overseas to receive an organ that they either know or were reckless in not knowing, was trafficked;
  • does not identify recipients of trafficked organs as guilty of an offence – unless they arranged for the victim to be brought to, or to be taken from Australia;
  • does not encompass a situation where the victim (the organ source) neither enters nor leaves Australia and was never in Australia.Given the world-wide scale of organ trafficking, future amendments to the Criminal Code Act 1995 should address the above key issues and also include:


• offences of organ trafficking that apply to any person present in Australia who committed the offence outside of Australia, whatever the status of the accused in Australia and whatever the nationality or residence of the victim.

Human Tissue Amendment (Trafficking in Human Organs) Bill 2013

On 19 February 2013, member of the New South Wales Parliament David Shoebridge MLC initiated the Human Tissue Amendment Bill 2013, which aims to criminalise the practice of transplant tourism. Mr Shoebridge argues that one way of addressing this brutal trade, is for countries such as Australia to impose prohibitions on its citizens and residents from receiving trafficked organs, wherever the transplant occurs. This would make it a crime for Australian citizens to receive organs sourced by illegal and unethical means. It is also believed that such a prohibition could serve to direct attention to the need to improve organ donation rates in Australia and NSW.

5. Australian Senate Motion – March 2013

On 21 March 2013 the Australian Senate unanimously passed a motion calling for the government to support the actions of the Council of Europe and the United Nations in addressing the practice of organ trafficking. The Senate motion also calls for the government to follow the example of the United States in implementing new visa requirements where applicants for non-migrant visas classified as DS-160 must specify if they have been involved in the “coercive transplantation of human organs or body tissue. australian-senate-unanimously-passes-motion-on-organ-harvesting/

6. Testimony to Joint Committee On Foreign Affairs, Defence And Trade – Nov 2012

Independent researcher and author Ethan Gutmann, testified to a Federal Parliament Joint Committee On Foreign Affairs, Defence And Trade on 28 November 2012.He stated that up to 65,000 Falun Gong practitioners may have been killed for their organs since 1999, when the persecution of the spiritual group commenced. Mr Gutmann’s extensive research has included interviews with over 100 people, including doctors from China and labour camp survivors.He is the author of “Losing the New China” and also a contributing author to the 2012 book, “State Organs: Transplant Abuse in China”.

Australian and International Developments Updated 15 August 2016 Page 1 of 3


  1. June 2016: US House of Representatives unanimously passes Resolution 343, condemning organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience in China.
  2. June 2016: Conservative Party Human Rights Commission hearing in British Parliament
  3. April 2015: Documentary on China’s Illegal Organ Trade won the 74th Peabody Award
  4. March 25, 2015: 14 states sign world’s first treaty against organ trafficking (the Council of Europe’s Convention against organ trafficking). against-trafficking-in-human-organs
  5. November 6, 2014: Resolution condemning forced organ harvesting in China passed by
    Canadian Parliament’s International Subcommittee on Human Rights
  6. October 8, 2014: Pennsylvania Passed Resolution on Unethical Organ Transplant Practices in China Id=15291
  7. March 2014: Italian Senate commission on human rights passed a resolution declaring that the Chinese Communist Party has harvested the organs of tens of thousands of prisoners, and called on the Italian Government to take a range of measures against the practice. march-2014/
  8. March 19, 2014: European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) endorsed the EU Resolution. EESC’s president hosted a conference entitled “Organ Harvseting in China: Europe must act now”. harvesting-in-china-scandalous-and-unacceptable.html
  9. March 15, 2014: Canada Raises Organ Harvesting at UN
  10. February 28, 2014: Illinois State House of Reps Passed Resolution Condemning Forced Organ Harvesting (HR0730)
  11. December, 12 2013: European Parliament Passes Resolution Opposing Forced Organ Harvesting in China 0562+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN&language=en
  12. April 29, 2013: Presentation to UK Parliament Forum by David Matas
  13. 24 April, 2013: Presentation to Scottish Parliament by David Matas david-matas-2455760.html

Australian and International Developments Updated 15 August 2016 Page 2 of 3


  1. February 5, 2013: The Canadian Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development held a hearing on Parliament Hill.
  2. February 2013: Taipei’s Bar Association made a public statement association/
  3. January 29, 2013: European Parliament hearing titled “Religious Persecution by China: A Horror Story” was convened by Edward McMillan-Scott, EP Vice-President for Democracy and Human Rights.
  4. December 18, 2012: Hearing before US Congressional Executive Commission on China
  5. November 22, 2012: Taiwanese Yuan Voted for Budget Resolution Concerning Medical Organ Transplantation, which is legally binding for the Department of Health
  6. September 12, 2012: US Congressional Hearing – full transcript

International Legislations

Taiwan 2015

Taiwan criminalises transplantation tourism

Spain 2010

Spanish Penal Code amended to address the issue of organ trafficking.

Israel 2008

Bans health insurance reimbursement for unethically overseas-obtained organs