HOTT Symposium on Human Trafficking for Organ Removal

On 21st November an international symposium took place on “Trafficking in Human Beings for the Purpose of Organ Removal" at Europol Headquarters in The Hague, The Netherlands. The event was organized under the auspices of “the HOTT project”, an EU-funded international research project against the crime. This study was an initiative of the Erasmus MC Rotterdam (The Netherlands), coordinated by Prof. Dr. Willem Weimar, Chair of ELPAT, and Frederike Ambagtsheer in close collaboration with Lund University (Sweden), The Bulgarian Center for Bioethics and the Academic Society for the Research of Religions and Ideologies in Romania. ESOT and ELPAT are associated partners.

The purpose of the project is threefold: increasing information and knowledge on trafficking in humans for organ removal, raising awareness and improving the non-legislative response. The symposium and the ‘Writers Conference’ (held on 20th November) where 50 experts discussed strategies and formulated recommendations, were organized to fulfil this objective. The project’s results were presented at the symposium, which was opened by the EU-Anti Trafficking Coordinator. In addition, presentations were given by a documentary filmmaker and prosecutors and police investigators about prosecuted criminal cases in South Africa, Kosovo, Israel and the USA. Furthermore, the project's researchers shared their study results and the recommendations of the writers’ conference were presented.

The symposium was open to all interested parties including judicial authorities and police forces, anti-human trafficking experts, crime analysts, transplant professionals, international health organizations, human rights NGOs and media. 240 participants from 35 countries participated in this event.

The 3 research reports, which are a literature review, a study on patients who purchased kidneys abroad and a report on prosecuted cases, can be downloaded here on the website www.hottproject.com.
In 2015 the results and the recommendations will be published in a book.