Trafficking in Human Beings for the Purpose of Organ Removal – A Comprehensive Literature Review

Trafficking in human beings for the purpose of organ removal (THBOR) is prohibited worldwide, yet a growing number of reports indicate its increase across the globe. Many countries in and outside the European Union (EU) have implemented proper legislation against THBOR. However, information regarding the incidence of THBOR and the non-legislative response to it is practically non-existent and unavailable to judicial and law enforcement authorities in the EU member states. Transplant professionals, human rights NGOs and international organizations also have little knowledge and awareness of the crime. This knowledge gap hampers the development of a structured and effective action to this repugnant form of human trafficking, which brings physical and psychological harms to vulnerable individuals.

This report’s objective is to gather information and increase knowledge about THBOR. It does so by describing the state-of-the-art of literature on the ethical aspects, causes and the actors involved in THBOR.