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Criminalisation Of Victims Of The Illegal Organ Trades - “Unjustified!”

By Chua Ee Teng, TIME

Published: 19 Mar 2019 - 10:11 PM

Criminalization of victims was highly voted against, on the basis that victims should be able to reach out for help and proper healthcare without lingering concerns.

Criminalization of victims was highly voted against, on the basis that victims should be able to reach out for help and proper healthcare without lingering concerns.

Earlier today, the SOCHUM used their third council session to discuss and settle on satisfactory solutions to the issue of illegal organ readings after no conclusive solutions were agreed upon in the previous two council sessions.

Parties that were more influential and outspoken included the delegate of France, America, China, Yemen, and Mexico, as they spoke up repeatedly to justify and convince member states to side with them in on how to prevent disparity between the supply and demand of organs, how to enhance border security, and lastly to the status of victims and whether they should be criminalized.

With the delegate of France being much prominent and harder to persuade and satisfy, the council was unable to reach a compromise peacefully and thus the debates dragged on as countries tried repeatedly to reach a solution and bring about an end to the debates, which were getting more and more circular, but ultimately failed to raise any solutions that seemed both feasible but yet would also meet the different sides’ requirements and demands.

However, as time went on and the council continued to be stuck on the topic of border security and seemed to show no signs of moving on, delegates soon realized the importance of reaching a conclusive solution and began to urge for the council to wrap up and move on to the next topic as they soon began to admit that they were simply, as the delegate of Moldovia put it, “talking about the exact same points but with different phrasing!”. They then moved on to the third and final topic, the criminalization of victims and whether they should be classified as criminals for participating in illegal organ trades.

The consensus amongst countries was that victims should not be criminalized and that the “onus lies on the states, not the helpless individuals”, as Mexico declared during the discussion. Delegates came together and concurred that governments are responsible and should provide more help for the victims, with the delegate of Sudan justifying this point with the fact that the victims “require both physical and mental healthcare”, and thus governments should provide more support for victims of the illegal organ trades.

The delegate of Belarus, Sudan, and Yemen all brought forward the idea of decriminalizing victims on the basis that they would be more willing to reach out to authorities and social services for help if they were not criminalized, such as to get proper healthcare that they might not be given if they participate in the illegal organ trades, with the delegate of Belarus concluding with “[decriminalizing victims] allows [the government] to protect the most vulnerable people in society”.

As countries were all in agreement, this topic was quickly settled, with every country being against the criminalization of the victims of the illegal organ trades. This topic was resolved in an astoundingly short amount of time, but despite how little time was spent on this topic, every country felt strongly for the victims and all pushed for the decriminalization of victims, which would contribute to the improvement of the situation. Victims now would not only be able to reach out for help with no fear of being arrested but would now also be able to help identify and catch illegal organ traffickers, thus helping states to arrest traffickers more easily.

However, the delegate of Bangladesh also raised the issue of people exploiting a loophole found in this solution by claiming innocence, even if they willingly participated in the illegal organ transplant with a clear understanding of the consequences involved. The delegate of Bangladesh proposed a counter to this issue whereby high-risk people, defined as those who have been found to be very likely to sell off their own organs, or undergo illegal organ transplants willingly, should be monitored, and if they are found to have sold their organs or received organs through illegal transplants, they would be charged as well.

All in all, the third and final council session of the day was undoubtedly the most productive one for the SOCHUM, with members eventually agreeing on and successfully passing a resolution.