A new bill introduced in the UK Parliament would punish British citizens traveling abroad to have a transplant in which the organ was forcibly removed without permission from the donor.
Lord Hunt, a member of the House of Lords, introduced the bill on Oct. 23, which seeks to update rules around organ tourism in the UK.
“People from other countries are paying lots of money to go to China, and almost ordering an organ by order,” Hunt told NTD. “It really is shocking. My bill is a bill to stop people from the UK doing that.”
The bill has now started its path through the British parliamentary system. If it becomes law, British citizens will face punishment if traveling to countries for a transplant, where the organ could have come from forced organ harvesting.
Recently, China’s forced organ harvesting practices have been in the spotlight following a people’s tribunal earlier this year in London.
The independent tribunal unanimously concluded on June 17 that prisoners of conscience have been—and continue to be—killed in China for their organs “on a significant scale,” after a year-long investigation.
The tribunal ruled that the main source of organs is thought to be people jailed for their beliefs, like Falun Gong practitioners, a spiritual practice suppressed in China since 1999, and Uyghurs, a mostly Muslim ethnic minority in northwest China. Tibetan Buddhists and House Christians may also be victims.
Legislation designed to deter people from participating in organ tourism has already been passed in other countries, such as Belgium, Norway, Italy, Taiwan, Spain, and Israel.
Reporting by Jane Werrell