The bodies of nine Somalis, including a mother and her two children, washed up on beach in Alexandria, Egypt, recently — all of them missing vital organs.
Investigations reveal the nine Somalis, whose organs were harvested and their bodies dumped in the Egyptian sea later, were originally lured on to a migrant boat, which they were told was heading for Italy. Instead, the ferry took them to an undisclosed location in Alexandria, where they were locked up for organ removal.
Horrors like these, though unfortunate, are not a rarity in many poor countries.
The Coalition for Organ-Failure Solutions, a nonprofit health and human-rights organization, previously released a report about the horrific underworld trade that affects thousands of immigrants hailing from Sudan, Jordan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Syria and Iraq.
Many of these refugees are sent to Western countries on a ruse for the express purpose of having their organs harvested.
In 2013, an unnamed girl was brought from Somalia to the U.K. for this heinous act. The case was revealed in a government report, which cited human trafficking in the U.K. has risen by 50% from the previous year.
In 2015, a pre-teen boy and a woman in her 30s were smuggled into Britain, but were fortunately rescued by the police who suspected they were being trafficked.
Yet, most people are not so lucky.
According to the World Health Organization, as many as 7,000 kidneys are illegally obtained by gangs seeking to exploit the worldwide market for transplant organs.
In 2013, 16,896 organ transplants took place in the United States while 4,453 patients died awaiting a transplant.
People mostly from rich developed nations are willing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for an organ, which further provides prospects for the unscrupulous and fuels the illegal trade.
Yet what is the government doing to stop organ trafficking? Organ trafficking maybe illegal but the United States has done very little to prevent it under current laws.
Some argue that by legalizing organ trade and setting up an international community to oversee it, it will not only close the ever-growing demand gap for organs but will also provide the donor a safe and financially guaranteed reason to willingly give their organs as living donors.