The US introduces a bipartisan bill, and the UK House of Lords approves an amendment to combat one of the most heinous CCP crimes.
by Marco Respinti
Organ harvesting is a sneaky tragedy for which the CCP-led Chinese regime should be held accountable, yet it seems it always manages to escape at the last minute. This is why any step in the direction of a public acknowledgement of this horrible reality taken by governments and parliaments is precious.
On December 15, 2020, in the US a bipartisan bill entitled Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act of 2020 has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Thomas B. Cotton (R-AR) as S.5016, as well as in the House of Representatives by Congressmen Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ) and Thomas R. Suozzi (D-New York) as H.R. 8972, to expand the US government’s powers to directly combat organ harvesting.
It is an unprecedented piece of legislation that creates a path toward a completely new approach on the matter. In this way, the horrors of organ harvesting move from recognition by focus groups and NGOs to the broader realm of public policy in the most powerful and influential country in the world. Pending now in the US Congress, the bill will surely gain momentum as the new US Administration, which will inaugurate on January 20, takes office. The three signers of the human harvesting bill in the two branches of the US legislative body have in fact all been re-elected on November 3, and are eager to continue their bipartisan political battle on the subject. They know how relationships with China are strategic for America, and are even more convinced that human rights should play a vital role in dealing with Beijing.
Highly important as well is, in the United Kingdom, Amendment 13 to the Medicines and Medical Devices Bill approved on January 12 by the House of Lords on the initiative of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, from the Labour Party. With the approved amendment, the UK bill now forbids “the use of tissues or cells […] in relation to human medicines.” This is a direct blow to human tissue trafficking and then to organ harvesting, as Lord Hunt explicitly stated, and to “[t]his modern-day slavery,” which “has been entering the UK supply chain, and there is no doubt that we are currently complicit.”
As Lord Hunt explained, “Domestically, the Bill provides an opportunity to prevent British complicity in such crimes and to send an important message to other countries. My amendment is designed to deal with gaps in current UK human tissue legislation. Currently, the Human Tissue Act does not require appropriate consent for imported human tissue. In addition, imported human tissue for use in medical research does not require traceability. Currently, neither the Human Tissue (Quality and Safety for Human Application) Regulations nor the Human Tissue Act require appropriate consent for imported human tissues for use in medicines. My amendment gives powers to Ministers to put this right. I should explain that the words ‘tissues’ and ‘cells’ are terminology which encompass all the human material that is used for the purposes of medicines. This includes organs.”
Now, “[t]he world is increasingly aware of China’s forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience”, Lord Hunt said. “This horrific crime of forcibly removing the organs from living victims—a process leading to inevitable murder—has recently been found by the China Tribunal to be happening extensively,” he added. And “[m]illions of Chinese citizens are currently detained in labor camps.” Particularly, “UN experts estimate that at least 1 million Uighurs are being held in camps in the region of Xinjiang. Elsewhere throughout China, other ethnic and religious minorities are also being held in labor camps, such as Tibetan Buddhists, Falun Gong practitioners, and Christians.”
Drawing extensively on the conclusions of last year’s China Tribunal, and acknowledging the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse In China for it unvaluable support, Lord Hunt then called directly upon the UK Government that it may “seek to put pressure on the World Health Organization to take this seriously.”
Concluding that “the passing of my amendment would be a significant action” since it gives “Ministers the power to make regulations,” Lord Hunt added that “this is a specific act by the UK in relation to the abhorrent practices in China”. Of course, he noted, “we need to see those regulations introduced and passed through Parliament. But, internationally, the UK’s action will be seen as a marker and a real signal to other countries.”