Kids now used as organ donors

 Please remember that there are other forms of human trafficking that occur all over the world. However, we are so focused on sex trafficking that we tend to forget about the other victims that suffer. It is great to advocate for sex trafficking of children and as of late, there have been numerous success stories popping up all over the U.S. However, because so many of anti trafficking organizations and the community in general has chosen to only focus on sex trafficking, the other types of trafficking are beginning to flourish. As I have mentioned time and time again, we need to come to terms with the fact that we are all a part of the demand for labor trafficking, and there is a large demand for organs. Although this story is based out of the Philippines, this does not mean that it is not happening here. The difference between the Philippines and the U.S is that the Philippines is brave enough to admit this is happening in their own backyard. We however, want to hide that fact that organ trafficking exists.

It’s time for us to speak out and do what we can to protect our children, and not just protect them from being sold for sex, but protect them from having their organs sold and protect them from being forced to work in deplorable and hazardous conditions all in the name of making a larger profit.

 By Cynthia Balana
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 05:15:00 11/11/2010

Filed Under: Children, Health

MANILA, Philippines—Children are now being used as organ “donors” to non-related rich patients who are in need of kidney transplants, a non-government organization fighting child trafficking said Wednesday.

Dr. Amihan Abueva, regional director of the Asia Against Child Trafficking group, said a recent study conducted in Quezon province reported at least two cases of 16-year-old boys becoming kidney donors.

In the first case, she said, the boy was recruited and was never asked by the hospital authorities about his age.

The second boy had said he did it because he wanted to raise money so his mother could set up a store.

At the weekly Health Forum sponsored by the Philippine College of Physicians in Quezon City, Abueva said a follow-up of both cases showed the donors’ families did not prosper despite the huge sum of money they received.

Abueva also said researchers suspect a link between parents who have been kidney donors and some children recruited as organ donors.

“I think we have to see the link: these adults who sold their kidneys also have children, and because their economic situation has not improved, that means that the children, the whole family is still at risk of being trafficked,” Abueva said.

She said that the group had seen a case where the father has already sold his kidney and when the money ran out, his son was the next to sell his kidney, and then a brother.

She said there are oftentimes clusters of people who sell their kidneys—father, son, cousins and neighbors.

“This is something that should be a concern for all of us. The potential of trafficking the younger generation of the victims is very real,” she said.

Technically, only persons who have reached the age of 18 have the capacity to make a major decision such as an organ donation, Abueva said.

“The rules are broken again and again,” Abueva said.

Dr. Lynn Almazan-Gomez, former president of the Philippine Society of Nephrology (2006-2008) said the number of kidney transplants has been increasing every year, with living donors markedly outnumbering transplants from deceased donors.

Gomez said there were about 8,500 new dialysis patients yearly. Of some 11,000 currently on dialysis, 50 percent are fit for transplantation but only 30 percent can afford its cost.

The government prohibits the sale and trafficking of organs and has been promoting organ donation from deceased donors.

End Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking, Call Your Representative Today

You can help pass H.R. 5575, the “Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking and Victims Support Act” by calling your member of Congress and urging him/her to support this critical legislation. Here’s how:

1. Find your member of Congress by going to and entering your complete zip code in the top left “Find Your Representative” section.

2. Call the House switchboard TODAY to support the bill at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected with your representative’s office. Once connected, tell them you’d like to urge the Congressperson to support H.R. 5575. Here’s an example of what you can say:

“Hi, my name is________ , and I am a constituent living in [town/city]. I’m calling to urge Congress(woman/man)______ to co-sponsor and support H.R.5575, a bi-partisan bill that seeks to combat and address the sex trafficking of children in America. I am very concerned about this issue because children are being trafficked across the U.S. by the thousands each day and there are only a handful of beds and shelters in the country to serve their many needs as survivors of such a heinous crime. It’s time for Congress to act. Will the Congress(woman/man) co-sponsor and support this important legislation?”

3. Once you complete your call, sign our petition to be counted and help us track our impact!

Right now in the U.S., there are only a handful of shelter beds for the thousands of children who are being rescued from trafficking each year. As a result, sex trafficked children have nowhere to turn for safety and therapeutic services. Due to a lack of resources for law enforcement, these young victims are arrested as juvenile offenders while their traffickers and predators remain free, allowing them to further victimize our children.

H.R. 5575 would right these wrongs in 2 ways:

1. Provide Funding for Survivor Services and Law Enforcement

2. Improve the National Crime Information Center (to help federal, state and local law enforcement better track at risk youth)

We Can Do This But Time is Running Out!

We have come too far to stop now. The Senate bill (S.2925) awaits a vote in the Senate and the House bill picked up steam after the Sept 15th House Judiciary hearing on domestic minor sex trafficking. Now, with time running out for the current 111th Congress, we must make our voices heard and build support for HR 5575 to pass in the House before the session ends.

Call your representative at (202) 224-3121 NOW

End Human Trafficking:End Human Trafficking HomepageView Topics

At least 100,000 American children are forced into prostitution each year, right here in the U.S. You can help make that number zero by uniting your voice with thousands of people from across the country to demand an end to child sex trafficking and pass landmark legislation which will keep traffickers off the streets, punish those who buy sex with kids, and protect victims.

On November 17, the National Coalition to End Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking is organizing a National Day of Action to pass the Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act. Right now in the U.S., there are only a handful of shelter beds for the thousands of children who are being removed from prostitution each year. This legislation will mean more young domestic sex trafficking survivors will have access to the shelter and restorative care services they need. It will also increase resources for law enforcement to arrest and prosecute the traffickers and predators who victimize our children.

This law can absolutely become a reality for the hundreds of thousands of trafficked children in the U.S. The Senate bill is currently awaiting a vote in the Senate and the House bill picked up steam after the Sept 15th House Judiciary hearing where Craigslist announced the permanent closure of their erotic ads in the U.S. But time is running out for the current 111th Congress, and it is critical to pass this legislation, especially in the House, before the session ends.

Here’s how you can make this historic bill to fight child sex trafficking in America become law:

1.Join advocates across the country on November 17 to make the phones on Capitol Hill ring off the hook and send members of the U.S. House of Representatives a clear and united message: The number of children being trafficked in the U.S. is on the rise, and it’s time for Congress to act! Check back next week for call information, contact numbers, and a sample script.

2.Sign the petition asking your representative to support the Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act.

3.Share the National Day of Action on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media networks (check out the buttons at the top of this post) to spread the word and inspire more people to join the fight against child sex trafficking in America.

We have an opportunity to create historic change and reduce child sex trafficking in America. Will you join us on November 17 in calling for an end to the exploitation and sale of children in our country?