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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on organ harvesting in the People's Republic of China

10.12.2013 - (2013/2981(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure

Charles Tannock, Adam Bielan, Roberts Zīle on behalf of the ECR Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0562/2013

Procedura : 2013/2981(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on organ harvesting in the People's Republic of China


The European Parliament,

-     having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of European Union of 18 December 2012 and in particular its Article 3 on the Right to the integrity of the person;

-     having regard to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, ratified by China on 4 October 1988;

-     having regard to its resolutions of 7 September 2006 and 14 March 2013 on EU-China relations, its resolution of 13 December 2012 on the annual report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2011 and the European Union's policy on the matter, its resolution of 16 December 2010 on the Annual Report on Human Rights in the World 2009 and the European Union's policy on the matter, and its resolution of 19 May 2010 on the Commission Communication: Action plan on Organ Donation and Transplantation (2009-2015): Strengthened Cooperation between Member States;

-     having regard to the hearings of 21 November 2009 and 6 December 2012 held by the Subcommittee on Human Rights and the respective testimonies of former Canadian Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific David Kilgour and human rights lawyer David Matas on the large scale organ harvesting of unwilling Falun Gong practitioners in China since 2000;

- having regard to Rule 122 of its Rules of Procedure,



A.  whereas, the People’s Republic of China performs more than 10,000 organ transplantations per year and Chinese organ transplant centers advertise that matching organs can be found within time much shorter than is usual in the EU and the US, yet as of May 2013 it did not have an organized or effective public system of organ donation or distribution;


B.  whereas, the organ transplantation system in China does not comply with the World Health Organization’s requirement of transparency and traceability in organ procurement pathways;


C.  whereas, the United Nations Committee Against Torture and the Special Rapporteur on Torture have expressed concern over the allegations of organ harvesting from Falun Gong prisoners, and have called on the government of the People’s Republic of China to increase accountability and transparency in the organ transplant system and take measures to ensure that those responsible for such abuses are prosecuted and punished;


D.  whereas, in July 1999, the Chinese Communist Party launched an intensive, nationwide persecution designed to eradicate the spiritual practice of Falun Gong leading to the arrest and detention of hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners;


E.  whereas, voluntary and informed consent is the precondition for ethical organ donation; and international medical organizations state that prisoners, deprived of their freedom, are not in the position to give free consent and that the practice of sourcing organs from prisoners is a violation of ethical guidelines in medicine;


F.  whereas, rates of voluntary organ donations in the People’s Republic of China are very low due to traditional views on the importance of preserving the body intact after death; whereas, the People’s Republic of China implemented regulations in 1984 that permitted the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners;


G.  whereas the People’s Republic of China has announced its intention of phasing out the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners by 2015 and the introduction of the China Organ Transplant Response System (COTRS), a computerized organ-allocation system thereby contradicting its commitment that all hospitals licensed for organ transplants will be required to stop using organs from executed prisoners by mid-2014;


1.  Expresses its deep concern over persistent but to date not fully substantiated reports of systematic, state-sanctioned organ harvesting from non-consenting prisoners of conscience, in the People’s Republic of China, including from large numbers of Falun Gong practitioners imprisoned for their religious beliefs, and members of other religious and ethnic minority groups;


2.  Stresses that phasing out the harvesting of organs from executed prisoners only by 2015 is not acceptable; calls on the government of the People’s Republic of China to immediately end the practice of organ harvesting from all prisoners and swiftly introduce a credible and transparent system for traceability of organs and organ procurement pathways,


3.   Recommends that the European Union publicly condemns organ transplantation abuses in China and raises awareness among its citizens travelling to the People’s Republic of China on this issue; calls for a full and transparent investigation by the by the People’s Republic of China into organ transplant practices, and for the prosecution of those found to have engaged in such unethical practices;


4.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, the UN Secretary-General, the UN Human Rights Council and the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Chinese National People's Congress.