A 12-year-old boy was reportedly smuggled into Britain in order to have his organs sold on the black market. Along with the boy, a woman in her 30s was also brought to UK so that her organs could be sold for huge profits.
While the UK case is shocking, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that up to 7,000 kidneys are illegally obtained around the world by organ trafficking gangs each year.
Even though hearts, lungs, and livers are rarely on the black market, kidneys are apparently a favorite, as they can be removed from a patient without serious side effects.
The Salvation Army in Britain was given government support in 2011 to help assist victims of organ trafficking, Anne Read, the Salvation Army’s human trafficking response coordinator, revealed.
“Front-line staff are becoming more aware of the different types of exploitation that are taking place and the extremes to which gangs will go to make money from their victims. The woman who was found in 2011 and referred to us had not yet had an organ removed but she was completely traumatised and very frightened.”
At the same time, Chloe Setter, from child protection charity Ecpat UK, spoke to reporters regarding a woman from Somalia who was almost “trafficked.”
“She had suffered an awful ordeal and was in such an emotional state that she found it difficult to talk about what she had been through. It is almost impossible to imagine anyone even thinking of carrying out a complicated operation in secret without the necessary medical back-up. The cases highlighted by the NCA are a truly shocking development.”
Setter also revealed that while organ harvesting is a worldwide phenomenon, Britain has always had a robust system for preventing the practice, as Setter added, ‘Traffickers target the most vulnerable – children, those living in poverty, refugees and migrants – because they are often desperate and easy to manipulate.”