find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Australia poised to combat illegal organ harvesting: ALHR

Australia poised to combat illegal organ harvesting: ALHR

Human body, illegal organ trafficking, ALHR

The Australian Lawyers for Human Rights are calling for changes to the law so that organ trafficking crimes outside of Australia are capable of constituting an offence.

In a submission to a Joint Standing Committee Inquiry into human organ trafficking and organ transplant tourism, the Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR), has called for changes to the Division 271 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).

The group has told an Inquiry into Human Organ Trafficking and Organ Transplant Tourism that just like federal laws that aim to catch child sex offences that occur outside the country, the Commonwealth criminal code should extend similar provisions to cover overseas organ trafficking.

According to Madeleine Bridgett, ALHR Business and Human Rights Subcommittee co-chair, illegal organ trafficking is widespread. Some of Australia’s nearest neighbours in developing East Asian countries are vulnerable targets for the trade, she said.

“Australians who travel overseas for organ transplants are at risk of facilitating grave human rights violations, the exploitation of poor and vulnerable people, and indeed of engaging in criminal activity themselves,” Ms Bridgett said.

Using the example of China’s black market for organs, Ms Bridgett said that the practice of illegal harvesting and trafficking is rife in a number of countries as well. In China however, she noted that prisoners of political conscience and those sentenced to be executed are targeted as a main “source of supply of human organs for medical transplantation”.

Citing the Amnesty Australia report, China’s Deadly Secrets, published in 2017, Ms Bridgett said that there is cause to believe that China continues to source organs from prisoners on death row.

“This form of persecution invariably amounts to crimes against humanity, and Australia must do all it can to bring such crimes to an end,” she said.

“The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific rightly notes that people in third world countries who chose to sell their organs may understand the deal but do not possess knowledge of the lifelong implications behind the permanent removal of an organ. They are often simply trying to support their families.”

The Inquiry is being led by both the Department of Defence and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Its mandate is to examine whether organ trafficking conduct that takes place overseas should be regarded as illegal under domestic law and whether Australia should accede to the Council of Europe Convention against Trafficking in Human Organs.

The ALHR indicated that it also supports moves for Australia to accede to the Council of Europe Convention against Trafficking in Human Organs.

The group said it hopes the government will put more money towards increasing rates of voluntary organ donation within Australia, given the country’s poor rates of donation in comparison to other developed countries around the world. Australia ranks behind the USA, France and the United Kingdom in terms of the number of organs gifted for donation.

 “Australia is well placed to make landmark legislative reform in the area of organ trafficking and organ transplant tourism, both domestically and internationally,” Ms Bridgett said.

“ALHR calls on the Australian government to protect Australians travelling overseas and the victims of organ trafficking by extending current criminal laws to conduct that occurs overseas. We also call on Australia to become a global leader in international and regional efforts to address organ trafficking and transplant tourism,” she said.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Australia poised to combat illegal organ harvesting: ALHR
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice
Dec 15 2017
Timing ‘critical’ in unusual contempt of court ruling
A recent case could have interesting implications for contempt of court rulings, according to a Ferr...
Dec 14 2017
International arbitration and business culture
Promoted by Maxwell Chambers. This article discusses the impact of international arbitration on t...
Papua New Guinea flag
Dec 14 2017
World-first mining case launched in PNG
Citizens of Papua New Guinea have launched landmark legal proceedings against the country’s govern...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...