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China: Organs

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 185001, tabled on 29 October 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to evaluate the credibility of the evidence of forced organ harvesting of religious prisoners of conscience in China.

Answered on

1 November 2018

We are aware of reports that allege that a process of involuntary organ removal may be taking place in China, including suggestions that minority and religious groups are being specifically targeted. The UK government fully supports the Declaration of Istanbul (May 2008), which encourages all countries to draw up legal and professional frameworks to govern organ donation and transplantation activities.

As the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister for Europe and the Americas, Sir Alan Duncan, stated in a Westminster Hall debate in October 2016: “Although I do not doubt the need to maintain close scrutiny of organ transplant practices in China, we believe that the evidence base is not sufficiently strong to substantiate claims about the systematic harvesting of organs from minority groups. Indeed, based on all the evidence available to us, we cannot conclude that this practice of “organ harvesting” is definitely happening in China.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) collates global data on organ donations and works with China. The WHO view is that China is implementing an ethical, voluntary organ transplant system in accordance with international standards, although the WHO does have concerns about overall transparency.

We continue to review any new evidence that is presented to us.

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