China: Organs

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 14th 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, if he will request from his EU and US counterparts the evidence that led to their respective parliaments passing resolutions to condemn 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 British 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.

Reports by authors such as Kilgour, Gutmann and Matas are important sources of information about China’s organ transplant system. They 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. However 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 available evidence on this issue.

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