SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA is playing host to a two-day international conference on organ trafficking, which started yesterday in the famous pilgrimage city.
Spain was one of 14 countries, also including Britain, Italy and Turkey, which have signed an international convention that bans the illegal trade in transplanted organs and prohibits profiting commercially from the business.
The scale of the organ trafficking problem was highlighted at a press conference chaired by Council of Europe secretary general Thorbjoern Jagland. He said that organ trafficking is one of the world’s top ten black market businesses, making €1.1 billion each year around the globe.
The World Health Organization (WHO) believes that around 10,000 illegal transplants take place each year, with some wealthy people paying hundreds of thousands of euros for a single organ transplant.
This is the first international treaty aimed at preventing this highly exploitive trade.