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Organ Trafficking in China
What is the Issue
It has come to my attention that there is a rather extreme concern over the issue of human trafficking within the country of China at this time. The three main types of human trafficking: organ trafficking, forced labour, and sexual exploitation are all occurring within China and only continues to be a growing issue. My main concern is over the trade of organs which is an issue that has been continuously overlooked by authorities in China. The problem is that the upper class, the bourgeoisie as Marx would say, has more authority in a capitalist society compared to those of the lower class, the proletariats (Marx, 1948). This unjust gap between the rich and poor has resulted in the poor going to unnecessary measures to try to make the slightest amount of money for their survival in a capitalist society. This has resulted in the issue of people with authority living in this capitalist society be able to get continuously overlooked for their crimes of organ trafficking against the vulnerable citizens. The gap has also given the wealthy people in China an authority to act and do as they please with the lower class people. This has been a main reason for organ trafficking in China (Yan, 2009). There are numerous ways that people in China are stealing peoples Organs and reasons that nothing is done about this unjust situation.
According to Medical Daily, there are three main broad categories of organ trafficking. These three categories consist of forcing or deceiving a person into giving up an organ, promising the victim money and then never paying them for their organ and the last is vulnerable people, such as homeless people, where the trafficker takes their organ by drugging them without the victim realizing it (Scutti, 2013). This illegal trade, which happens to have many laws against it, alone generates $600 million and $1.2 billion every year (Scutti, 2013). All this money is being made from organ trafficking, but where do these organs go when there are still 1.5 million people in china that await an organ transplant (Fan, 2014). This is a very unjust and complicated issue, so why is there nothing being done to prevent it? The simple answer to this question is because the people with authority in the nation are the ones benefiting from this illegal trade.
There is an Unjust System
It is reported that court officials contact hospitals when prisoners are to receive the death penalty so doctors know when to call the prison and match an organ transplant. Doctors are called although it states, “Utilization of Corpses or Organs from the Corpses of Executed Prisoners, enacted in 1984, states that ‘the use of organs of executed criminals must be kept strictly secret, and attention must be paid to avoid negative repercussions.’ Consequently, most doctors and public officials in China deny knowledge of the practice,” (Glaser, n.d). This is a prime example of people with authority bending the written laws in order to take the organs of the less fortunate.
The issue of organ trafficking between the gap of rich and poor people does not end just with the doctors knowing prison secrets that are legally supposed to be kept within just the prison. It is claimed that, in China, authoritarian figures have been giving harsher penalties to criminals to receive the death penalty in order to have more organs to extract (Glaser, n.d). China has also been taking the organs of executed prisoners without consent from the prisoner or any involved family members, which is illegal (Abc News, 2014). This broadens the gap between rich and poor, worsening the issue of capitalism in their society and also the issue of organ trafficking considering authority people, who are supposed to be the ‘safe’ people, are one of the main traffickers attacking these desperate victims.
An Issue of Oppression
The victims of trafficking are facing multiple types of oppression. People who are trafficked for their organs are oppressed on behalf of being exploited as poor, vulnerable people they are victimized and violated through violent measures, and they are marginalized for being desperate for money by the upper class people (Young, 2004). Why is there nothing being done by the authority figures of this nation to prevent this oppression towards these poor victims of trafficking? It is understood that there is no clear answer, but there are many measures that could be taken in order to prevent such extreme numbers of organ trafficking.
What can be Done?
It is clear that China lacks authority figures to help prevent this issue, but that they also do not know ways in which it can be prevented because clearly the law is not enough. The most significant approach to preventing further illegal organ trade would be by raising awareness of the issue. In countries such as China, citizens are not taught about the dangers of trafficking. In fact, human trafficking in general is a term that not many people know the meaning of. This shows that people are not aware of the issue; thus, they do not know the precautions they must take in order to prevent it happening to them. This can be done through children’s schooling to capture the issue with a younger audience. The media also needs to be motivated to care about publishing sources of media that advertise the issue in the country and to help educate people. The government also needs to enforce the laws that are already in place about human trafficking in the country, and to stop allowing upper class people to get away with crimes against desperate citizens (UNODC, 2014).
It is proven that China clearly has a substantial issue with organ trafficking in the nation. If China continues to live this way, numbers will only rise from $1.2 billion dollars which is already an excessive amount (Scutti, 2013). Therefore, there is only hope that Peoples Republic of China will consider taking action on this matter and begin to save the lives of future citizens of China.
Further Reading and Citations
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. (2014, January 1). Retrieved November 30, 2014, from http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/prevention.html
Fan, J. (2014, January 10). Can China Stop Organ Trafficking? - The New Yorker. Retrieved November 30, 2014, from http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/can-china-stop-organ-trafficking
Yan, L. (2009, November 16). Illegal organ trade rife in China. Retrieved November 30, 2014, from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2009-11-16/illegal-organ-trade-rife-in-china/1144634
China busts huge organ trafficking ring. (2014, January 1). Retrieved November 30, 2014, from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-05/china-busts-huge-organ-trafficking-ring/4178570
Bindel, J. (2013, July 1). Organ trafficking: A deadly trade. Retrieved November 30, 2014, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/10146338/Organ-trafficking-a-deadly-trade.html
Shi, B. (2014, January 1). Regulation of Organ Transplantation in China. Retrieved November 30, 2014, from http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1104134
Delmonico, F. (2014, January 1). Open Letter to Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republi... : Transplantation. Retrieved November 30, 2014, from http://journals.lww.com/transplantjournal/Citation/2014/04270/Open_Letter_to_Xi_Jinping,_President_of_the.3.aspx
Glaser, S. (n.d.). Formula to Stop Illegal Organ Trade. Retrieved November 30, 2014, from http://www.wcl.american.edu/hrbrief/12/2glaser.pdf
Scutti, S. (2013, July 9). Organ Trafficking: An International Crime Infrequently Punished. Retrieved November 30, 2014, from http://www.medicaldaily.com/organ-trafficking-international-crime-infrequently-punished-247493
Young, I. (2004). Oppression, Privilege, and Resistance. In Five faces of Oppression. Boston: McGraw Hill.
Marx, K., & Engels, F. (1948). Manifesto of the Communist party,. New York: International.
Read More about this Problem
This novel provides further information about human trafficking in China. The author Ethan Gutmann went deep into the issue that is organ trafficking and the illegal practice in China to write this clever novel about the problem. The approach taken by this author is very interesting and definitely worth being glanced at for those who are interested and passionate about the issue of organ trafficking.
© 2015 Christy Maria