China: Organs

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

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the merits of the evidence collected by former Canadian Minister David Kilgour on forced organ harvesting 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.

We consider the Kilgour, Gutmann and Matas report to be important sources of information about China’s organ transplant system. These reports rightly question the lack of transparency in China’s organ transplant system, whilst acknowledging that it is very difficult to identify the source of those organs and verify the number of organ transplants conducted in China. We do not agree with the claims of systematic organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience, assessing that the evidence they present does not substantiate such a claim.

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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