Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 897–914 | Cite as

A human rights approach to Human Trafficking for Organ Removal

  • Debra Budiani-Saberi
  • Seán Columb
Review Article


Human trafficking for organ removal (HTOR) should not be reduced to a problem of supply and demand of organs for transplantation, a problem of organized crime and criminal justice, or a problem of voiceless, abandoned victims. Rather, HTOR is at once an egregious human rights abuse and a form of human trafficking. As such, it demands a human-rights based approach in analysis and response to this problem, placing the victim at the center of initiatives to combat this phenomenon. Such an approach requires us to consider how various measures impact or disregard victims/potential victims of HTOR and gives us tools to better advocate their interests, rights and freedoms.


Human trafficking for organ removal Organ trafficking Human rights 



The authors thank Milbert Shin, Francis Delmonico and Anne Gallagher and for their thoughtful expert comments on this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Coalition for Organ Failure Solutions (COFS)BethesdaUSA
  2. 2.School of LawQueen’s University BelfastBelfastNorthern Ireland, UK

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