SENATOR Salma Ataullahjan and Garnett Genuis, Conservative deputy critic for foreign affairs, spoke on Tuesday about Private Members’ legislation that would help eliminate Canadian demand for human organ harvesting.
Bill S-240, introduced in the Senate, and Bill C-340, introduced in the House of Commons, would allow for penal sanctions to be imposed on persons, either inside or outside Canada, who are knowingly involved in the trade, harvesting, or medical transportation of human organs without donor consent.
“Organ trafficking targets those most impoverished and vulnerable and is a clear violation of the principles of justice, dignity and respect for human rights. This bicameral effort aims to ensure that this important matter is brought to the attention of Canadians and builds on previous bipartisan attempts, most notably by former Member of Parliament and human rights leader Irwin Cotler,” said Ataullahjan.
There is currently no law in Canada that bans Canadians from taking part in the act of travelling abroad and purchasing organs for transplant and returning back to Canada. Those most vulnerable to organ trafficking include individuals living in poverty in developed countries and political prisoners.
“The practice of forced organ harvesting abroad is an issue that has been raised by my office on many occasions. With legislation tabled in both chambers, we have a unique opportunity to stand together and prioritize human rights,” said Genuis.