What Is Kidney Trafficking?

Part 1 of 5
This is the first installment in the series “Kidney Trafficking: Who, What, Where, Why & How”

Organ Trafficking Is Not A Myth!

You’ve heard the stories about a party-goer who gets raging drunk and high, and the next thing she knows, she wakes up in a bath tub full of ice, with a huge scar down her abdomen. That’s not quite the reality, but…it’s not far from the truth! Aside from the bathtub of ice. That doesn’t happen. Find out how it actually happens here.

Organ trafficking is a type of human trafficking where victims are duped or forced into selling their inner organs on the black market. Kidneys are the number one trafficked organ. Humans are born with two kidneys, but we can live on just one. Corneas, liver, pancreas, heart, lungs, and tissue are all trafficked. Obviously, victims will die when vital organs are stolen – unless we have two of the same organ. Sometimes, only parts of vital organs are stolen, so victims survive but may never fully recover because they have no access to healthcare.

The World Health Organization estimates that 10,000 illegal organs are harvested every year around the world. Guess how many of them are kidneys—70%! 7000 kidneys are stolen every year and those are just the documented cases. That means the real numbers are probably 3x as high. “Harvested” is the time between organ extraction from a victim and transplantation in an organ buyer.  

It is illegal to buy and sell human organs in almost every country in the world. But voluntary donation of organs to a family member is legal in almost every country. That’s the loophole. Victims are coerced into signing documents that swear their kidneys are being donated to family members. Hospital officials look the other way.

Mamta Valderrama