Trafficking in body parts

A bit ago I got a comment from Jim (Thanks Jim!) asking if I knew anything about trafficking in body parts in Thailand. The truth is that I don’t– however, I do think that it is important to talk about trafficking in body parts as so little of the public knows that it exists as a problem.

At best I can say that persistent rumors of trafficking in body parts exist. (also the pro-life movement tries to claim that abortion and stem cells consist of trafficking in body parts which I do not agree with– also, I think its dangerous to try and use human trafficking to get into a political debate about pro-life vs. pro-choice).

Trafficking in body parts is basically harvesting body parts from unwilling victims– most often live donor organs, like liver. However, there are cases, of which Mr. Jim believes his son was a part of, where individuals are murdered to harvest their organs. These organs are then sold on the black market, generally in western countries like the US where donor lists are extremely long.

This is an extremely dangerous practice, not just for the donor but also for the recipient. Often the means used to extract the organs is not cleanly and therefor there is higher risk of infection (for both) and rejection (for the recipient). Also, although organs on the black market are sold for thousands of dollars, this money is not passed on to the unwilling (or in some cases willing but extremely poor with no other options) donor.

More reading on organ trafficking here.



  1. Ugh. This made me sick to my stomach to read about. Nip/Tuck did part of their show on organ harvesting of unwilling victims and to be honest, that was the first time I’d ever heard of it.

  2. Hey! This is Rachel Sparks. Founder and Producer of theSOLDproject. I wanted to thank you for this blog and for adding us to your site. We are so inspired by people just like you who are spreading the word.
    In the end… love rules
    Be inspired

  3. I was watching NCIS and i was wondering if someone could actually be trafficking drugs in there body while alive. Of course the guy didnt live for long, but i just wanted to know how can drugs be put in someones intestines w/o any cut in there stomach? What other way can it possibly get there and please i hope its not the butt.

  4. I am not an expert in drug trafficking, although I know a bit as sometimes human traffic victims are used as mules, but my understanding is that generally the bags are sealed and ingested. The opposite end is another option.

  5. yesterday me and my friend hang out for drinks. later she was talking about human trafficking which is getting more common in places like asia. the story about the victim apparently the man who meet up with a beautiful lady in nice clubs. later, the male victim got excited and being invited to get layed in hotel. the min when he wake up, he found himself lying in a bath tub with ices. there were stiches on both sides of his waist. over the toilet sit is a note asking him to call a hospital no. and the headphone. this is a freaking story. Dont believe, believe it.

  6. Hi Jacklin…

    I have to say some of the mass emails that are floating around are bogus. That said, it is actually a problem– the harvesting of organs. Most often, though, it is the most defenseless, the most marginalized, who are at risk. Thanks for sharing !

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