The Additional Protocol to the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine, concerning Transplantation of Organs and Tissues of Human Origin contains general principles and specific provisions concerning transplantation. The Additional Protocol has been signed and ratified by a number of countries since its opening for signature on 24 January 2002 and is now in force.

The Ministers’ Deputies adopted on 9 July 2014 the Statement by the Committee of Ministers on the prohibition of any form of commercialisation of human organs.

On 24 June 2014 a committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) reasserted the need for a total ban on any form of trading in human organs, expressing concern at recent suggestions that “some form of commercialisation” could be envisaged as a way of dealing with the shortage of organs for transplantation.  Press Release

The Council of Europe and the United Nations published a Joint study on trafficking in organs, tissues and cells and trafficking in human beings for the purpose of the removal of organs, which recommends that a new international Convention is needed to prevent trafficking in organs, tissues and cells (OTC), protect victims and prosecute offenders

This new joint Council of Europe/United Nations publication was presented at a special launching event in the United Nations headquarters in New York on 13 October 2009 on the occasion of the 64th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The study stresses that trafficking in human beings for the purpose of organ removal is a small part of the wider problem of trafficking in organs, tissues and cells (OTC) and highlights that there is widespread confusion in the legal and scientific communities between the two types of trafficking, which require different solutions.

Executive Summary of the Joint Study

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