The Australian Senate unanimously endorsed a motion on March 21 that highlighted international illegal organ trafficking and the government’s role in opposing it. The motion was introduced before the 76-member Upper House by Senator John Madigan from the Democratic Labour Party.
Senator Madigan said that the support of the Labour Government, the Liberal Opposition and the minority parties was a positive step in the right direction. Sen Madigan wrote in an e-mail to The Epoch Times:
“I believe this motion goes a small way towards bringing organ harvesting to the attention of the Australian Parliament and the Australian people.”
The motion called on the government to support the actions of the Council of Europe and the United Nations in combatting the practice of organ trafficking. While the European Parliament last December heard testimony on organ harvesting in China, the Senate acknowledged significant evidence collected by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the practice within China.
Legislation in other countries
The Senate also noted the example set by the United States that included a new visa requirement for non-immigrants to declare under US law if they have been involved in the “coercive transplantation of human organs or bodily tissue,” saying:
“There are many countries around the world… that are taking a stand against their citizens receiving organs sourced unethically. Australia can follow in the steps of the United States.”
Legislation introduced in Belgian in 2006 and in Canada in 2008 penalises any transplant patient who receives an organ without the consent of the donor, where the patient knew or ought to have known of the absence of consent.
NSW is also considering legislation to criminalise the act of state residents receiving illegal or unethically sourced organs overseas. Sen John Madigan moved a motion before the Australian Senate to oppose organ harvesting practices, which was accepted unopposed by all parties.