The trafficking in human organs is a problem of global proportions that violates basic fundamental freedoms, human rights and dignity and constitutes a direct threat to public health, integrity, freedom and often the life of individuals. It is also frequently linked to the activities of transnational organised crime groups, who profit from a vulnerable situation of the donor. The trafficking in human organs is an international problem that demands a response from governments, legislative institutions and international organisations.

The approach of the Council of Europe to address this challenge consists of the two inter-related elements of:

  • the common standards of the Council of Europe Convention against Trafficking in Human Organs (opened for signature in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, in March 2015) as the most relevant international criminal justice treaty to counter this crime
  • the Committee of the Parties (CoP) consisting of representatives of Parties to the Santiago de Compostela Convention and responsible for assessing proper implementation of the Convention, preparing Guidance Notes and facilitating cooperation among the Parties.