Digital Theses Archive


Tesi etd-10182021-230022

Type of thesis
Master di Primo Livello
Occultis aperta: Examining the application of legal and policy framework on organ-ized trafficking in migrants and its intersection to the European Union’s demand for Organs, tissues and cells
Istituto di Diritto, Politica e Sviluppo
relatore Dott.ssa VENIER, SILVIA
  • Human Rights
  • Legislation
  • Migrants
  • Organ Transplants
  • OTC
  • Transplant Tourism
Exam session start date
The advancement in science and technology especially in the field of organ transplants from the 1950 to the 21st century paved the way to an era where donors and recipients no longer had to be relatives but could also be socially, geographically and logically distant. Without doubt, organ transplants have enabled the improvement in the quality of life and saved the lives of patients affected by terminal organ failures. <br>Due to the increasing popularity and benefits of organ transplants as an answer to organ failure, the result is that there has been an increase in the number of people in need of organ transplants while the number of available organs remains inadequate to match this demand due to bioethical, social, policy, economic and demographic limitations. <br>The inability to meet the high demand for organs by health institutions opened alternative means of acquiring organs through a black market which generates approximately 600-1.2 million dollars of illicit proceeds annually. The World Health Organization estimates that at least 10,000 organs are sold in the black market every year including those extracted from trafficked persons but this figure is on the lower side as many cases of organ trafficking in migrants are rarely reported for fear of arrest, victimisation or deportation.<br>Due to social, economic, political and legal reasons, the EU has been an attractive point for both regular and irregular migrants. However, due to the limited options of entry into Europe, their movement into Europe is through illicit activities such as being smuggled across borders and human trafficking potentially making them vulnerable to exploitation. <br>Based on the concern about the need to protect migrants from organ trafficking, the study first analyses factors that have promoted organ trafficking in migrants and then explores the links between the high demand for organs in Europe and irregular migration specifically focusing on organ trafficking. It also identifies how migrants are protected by the various legal instruments at international, regional level against organ trafficking.<br>The first chapter attempts to answer two questions. First, what factors have promoted organ trafficking in migrants? Secondly, how has the demand for organs in Europe influenced irregular migration? To answer the first question, the study identifies factors that have promoted organ trafficking in migrants from a socio-economic and also legal and political perspective. To answer the second question, the study identifies factors that have attracted migrants into the EU and how the high demand for organs can also have an influence in irregular migration. <br>The second chapter analyses two critical questions; what are the existing legislations and policies that protect migrants from exploitation for their organs? Secondly, what are these gaps identified in the literature review of the legislation and policy guidelines that need to be addressed? To answer the first question, the study looks at the existing legislation on THBOR, OTC and organ tourism at an international and regional level as well as looks at the guidelines on transplantation of human organs, tissues and cells. <br>The methodology used relied on secondary sources of data from existing academic literature well as reports issued by Human Rights Organizations and news from reputable news agencies. In addition, the legal framework and guidelines on organ trafficking and migrant protection were mostly retrieved from reliable internet sources including Organizational, Convention and treaty databases and case law depositories. Data from organ transplant monitoring centres and surveys from global and regional organizations were also used to support this study<br>