What is Body Parts Trafficking?

Body part trafficking is a subset of human trafficking as defined by the United Nations Trafficking in Persons Protocol Protocol to Prevent, Supress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (Article 3a). Body part trafficking includes the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of the removal of organs or other body parts.
The black market is permeated with the illegal exchange of body parts. The typical body parts bought and sold on the black market are tissue, organs, bones, and blood. These body parts are either forcibly taken or bought from vulnerable persons, primarily those in extreme poverty, and sold to a variety of buyers including university programs, hospitals/county morgues that perform autopsies, and crematories and funeral homes. In some places body parts are stolen or sold for human sacrifice or to create medicine.


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