Portugal signs international treaty against illegal organ trade

Human rights || Portugal is one of 14 European countries that have signed the first binding treaty that criminalises all activities linked to the illegal organ trade.

The ceremony took place in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, on Wednesday, March 25, and was attended by the Portuguese justice minister Paula Teixeira Cruz.

Entitled ‘Convention against Trafficking in Human Organs’, the treaty was also signed by Albania, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Moldova, Poland, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

Any country can sign it and it will enter into force when five states have ratified it.

“The illicit removal and trafficking of human organs is a serious human rights violation,” Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland said in a press release.

“Donors are often extremely vulnerable individuals exploited by organised crime, which takes advantage of the shortage of organs available for transplantation. International co-operation is essential to fight this crime. I call on states in Europe and beyond to swiftly sign and ratify the convention,” he added.