The Commonwealth Human Rights Sub-Committee of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade has openedlooking into current legislation covering the issue of organ trafficking and transplant tourism.
The inquiry comes after a three year investigation by NewsCorp that revealed the high numbers of Australians who travelled overseas to buy organs on the black market, due to a shortage of organs available under the Australian programme. Earlier this year in May 2017, Health Minister Greg Hunt unveiled plans for an additional to continue the Government’s organ donors programme. On the increased budget for the donors’ programme, bioethicist Dominique Martin said:
Currently, the Commonwealth offence of organ trafficking is contained within Subdivision 271.7B of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (CTH) ('the Code'). Under the Code, a person who returns to Australia after having received an organ transplant overseas cannot be charged. A person can only be charged under sub-division 271B(1) and (2) of the Code if a they bring someone into Australia in order to purchase an organ from them whilst in Australia, or if the victim is transported outside of Australia for the purpose of having their organ removed.
The terms of reference for investigation are:
The Convention calls on governments to establish organ removal as a criminal offence where it is non-consensual, non-authorised in the case of deceased donors, and where it is done in exchange for a financial gain or other comparable advantage.
In the Media Release, the inquiry will aim to consider the widespread and global nature of organ trafficking and tourism in addition to investigating regional laws, as well as considering how the Australian legal system can be improved in order to deter organ tourism. The Chairman of the Human Rights Sub-Committee, Hon Kevin Andrews MP said:
The closing date for submissions is Monday 7 August 2017. Further details on submissions are available on the Committee’s website.
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Criminal Code Act 1995 (CTH), as published on TimeBase LawOne.
Human Rights Sub-Committee, Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, ‘Deterring International Human Organ Trafficking’ (Media release), 23 June 2017.
Parliament of Australia,.
Sue Dunlevy, ‘,’ (NewsCorp Australia Network), 24 June 2017.
Danny Tran ‘,’ (ABC News), 10 May 2017.
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