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Thousands trafficked into India for kidney sale: roundtable PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 June 2008

Organ-trafficking rackets smuggle thousands of poor men from Bangladesh and other South Asian countries into India every year to remove their kidneys for sale, speakers at a roundtable alleged Tuesday, reports bdnews24.com

But a narrow definition of trafficking in a relevant SAARC convention prevents rescue and rehabilitation of the trafficked people.

"The SAARC convention on trafficking in persons does not recognise trafficking of males as trafficking," Nishat Chowdhry, a national programme officer of the International Organisation for Migration, told the roundtable in Dhaka. The SAARC convention has a restricted definition, she said.

The convention says trafficking means the moving, selling or buying of women and children for prostitution within and outside a country for monetary or other considerations with or without the consent of the person subjected to trafficking.

"Trafficking is an international or regional crime. There should be a regional or international mechanism to combat it," said Dr Mizanur Rahman, a Dhaka University teacher.

Thousands of Bangladeshis were trafficked to Valore of India and forced into "donating" their kidneys, according to the roundtable.

"One of the flaws of the SAARC convention is, there is no compliance mechanism for the member countries," said Rabab Fatima, IOM's South Asia representative.

She said there was no treaty body to review the convention from time to time.

"Bangladesh believes the definition of trafficking in the SAARC convention should be widened," said Abida Islam, a foreign ministry director.

She said the definition should be broadened gradually as it would be "difficult to implement the convention if the definition was widened abruptly".

The SAARC Convention on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution was signed in 2002.

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