Extensive reports since 2006 have documented the scale and severity of state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting from prisoners and prisoners of conscience in the People’s Republic of China. Independent reporting and pressure from international medical and governmental institutions have prompted the Chinese government to announce multiple reforms. Official statements claim that reforms are designed to bring China’s transplantation system into line with international standards and enable China’s transplantation system and professionals to gain international legitimacy and acceptance. Despite these claims and the gradual development (since 2010) of a voluntary organ donation system, evidence continues to emerge regarding largescale and severe human rights violations in the sourcing of organs for transplants in China.
The most recent and comprehensive assessment of the evidence about forced organ harvesting in China was conducted by the China Tribunal. This was an independent people’s tribunal established to investigate forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in China and determine what criminal offences, if any, have been committed by state or state-approved bodies, organisations or individuals in China that may have engaged in forced organ harvesting. The Tribunal’s Final Judgment, delivered in June 2019, unanimously found that forced organ harvesting continues in China.
In August 2021, 12 UN Special Rapporteurs and human rights experts issued a correspondence to China regarding credible evidence of forced organ harvesting from ethnic, religious and linguistic groups. The correspondence was made public and the UNOHCHR issued a press release.
FINDINGS OF THE CHINA TRIBUNAL
“Forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale.”
“Falun Gong practitioners have been one—and probably the main—source of organ supply.”
“In regard to the Uyghurs, the Tribunal had evidence of medical testing on a scale that could allow them, amongst other uses, to become an ‘organ bank’.”
“Commission of Crimes Against Humanity against the Falun Gong and Uyghurs has been proved beyond reasonable doubt.”
“The Tribunal has no evidence that the significant infrastructure associated with China’s transplantation industry has been dismantled and absent a satisfactory explanation as to the source of readily available organs concludes that forced organ harvesting continues till today.”