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PACE committee lists steps needed to combat ‘organ transplant tourism’

PACE’s Social Affairs Committee has set out a series of steps to combat organ transplant tourism – including better traceability for donors and recipients, enforcing international referral systems and more work to tackle trafficking in general.

Unanimously approving a report by Stefan Schennach (Austria, SOC), the committee also called for better strategies to prevent and treat organ failure in the first place, and urged Council of Europe member States – as well as Observer and Partner States – to implement all relevant global and Council of Europe conventions in the field.

“A holistic approach is necessary to solve the problem of organ transplant tourism,” the parliamentarians said. “At its root, there is a need to close the gap between the demand for and the supply of organs, in the face of desperate people needing an organ – whose number will only increase in the future.”

The committee also said that member States should “exercise particular caution” when co-operating with the China Organ Transplant Response System and the Red Cross Society of China, “in view of a recent study casting doubt on the credibility of China’s organ transplant reform”.

The plenary Assembly is due to debate the report in January 2020.