Council of Europe Convention against Trafficking in Human Organs Enters into Force

The first international treaty aimed at combating trafficking in human organs, the Council of Europe Convention against Trafficking in Human Organs recently entered into force in the first five countries which have some far ratified it. Another 17 countries have signed but not ratified the Convention: Albania, Czech Republic, Malta, the Republic of Moldova and Norway.

Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, the Russian Federation, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

By criminalizing the illegal removal human organs, the convention aims to combat trafficking in human organs presented by the Council of Europe as a “ serious threat to public health”. According to the WHO, some 10,000 black market transplants are carried out every year.

The convention further seeks to foster increased transparency of national transplantation systems and equitable access to transplants and offers “an opportunity for concerted action on global level by harmonising national legislation, and lays the foundation for cross-border co-operation”.

Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland called on states from Europe and beyond to join the Convention without delay and urged Governments to “take swift action and co-operate effectively taking advantage of the legal framework the convention provides”.

Source: Council of Europe