China: Organs

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 6th November 2018.

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Photo of Shabana Mahmood Shabana Mahmood Labour, Birmingham, Ladywood

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the Chinese government on allegations that organ harvesting continues to be practised in China.

Photo of Mark Field Mark Field Minister of State

We are aware of reports that allege that a process of involuntary organ removal may be taking place in China, including suggestions that minority and religious groups are being specifically targeted. The UK government fully supports the Declaration of Istanbul (May 2008), which encourages all countries to draw up legal and professional frameworks to govern organ donation and transplantation activities.

As the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister for Europe and the Americas, Sir Alan Duncan, stated in a Westminster Hall debate in October 2016: “Although I do not doubt the need to maintain close scrutiny of organ transplant practices in China, we believe that the evidence base is not sufficiently strong to substantiate claims about the systematic harvesting of organs from minority groups. Indeed, based on all the evidence available to us, we cannot conclude that this practice of “organ harvesting” is definitely happening in China.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) collates global data on organ donations and works with China. The WHO view is that China is implementing an ethical, voluntary organ transplant system in accordance with international standards, although the WHO does have concerns about overall transparency.

We continue to review any new evidence that is presented to us.

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