LONDON, October 22, 2013 ( – An unnamed underage Somalian girl was brought by traffickers into Britain to be used as an unwilling “organ donor,” a report by the British government has revealed. But, as horrifying as the revelation is, Britain’s leading anti-child trafficking organization has speculated the problem may actually be more widespread than the report indicates.

“Traffickers are exploiting the demand for organs and the vulnerability of children,” Bharti Patel, the chief executive of Ecpat UK, a charity that combats child trafficking, told the Daily Telegraph. “It’s unlikely that a trafficker is going to take this risk and bring just one child into the UK. It is likely there was a group.” 

The government report on trafficking said tha in the UK in 2012 a total of 1,186 “potential victims” of human trafficking were reported by authorities, an increase of 25 per cent since 2011. Of the total, 815 were adults and 371 were children. The Human Trafficking Centre estimated that as of 2012 there are up to 2,255 “possible victims” of human trafficking in the UK. 


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Coverage by the Daily Telegraph quoted the World Health Organisation that said human traffickers are now taking “unfair advantage of the poorest and most vulnerable groups” for organ harvesting, and are “undermining” “altruistic donation” for profit. 

A 2007 WHO study based on “243 media materials, 51 journal articles and 15 other documents” found that the illegal international organ trade was netting about $1 billion a year. Organs sought after by the international organ trafficking trade include hearts, lungs and livers, with kidneys being the most desired. 

The WHO report also notes that in China, with around 12,000 kidney and liver transplants conducted in 2005: “Most of the transplant organs were alleged to have been procured from executed prisoners.” The report said this practice is “criticized by the international community.” 

The report also warned of the rise of “transplant tourism” that finds foreign nationals travelling to countries with fewer restrictions, like China, to obtain organs. 

“Other countries where kidneys are reportedly sold include Bolivia, Brazil, Iraq, Israel, the Republic of Moldova, Peru and Turkey,” the report added. The primary motive for most paid kidney donations, the report said, was “poverty,” adding that “lasting economic benefit after donation is limited or even negative because of the limited employability of such patients and the perceived deterioration of their health.”