The Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act Advances to House Floor
On February 28, the House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously voted to pass U.S. legislation H.R. 1154, or the Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act of 2023, which now advances to the House floor for a vote. The bill, introduced by New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith aims to combat forced organ harvesting and trafficking globally, including by the Chinese Communist Party.
Forced organ harvesting is a lucrative trade in China, systematically carried out under state order, with prisoners of conscience, including Falun Gong detainees, being used as a source without consent.
H.R. 1154 would permit the U.S. State Department to impose sanctions on perpetrators of forced organ harvesting, including barring entry to the United States and blocking financial transactions on American soil. It also would require the U.S. secretary of state to report to Congress on organ transplant abuses committed in foreign countries.
“If Xi Jinping gets sick tomorrow and needs a new lung, he will get that lung from a 28-year-old Falun Gong practitioner or perhaps an Uyghur man or woman,” said Representative Chris Smith in an interview with NTD on February 28, the bill’s lead sponsor. “They [the CCP] go and pick and ‘cull’—as they call it—these very healthy people, and the Falun Gong practitioners are extraordinarily healthy because of their religious practices, because of their lifestyle, so they become victimized by the Chinese Communist Party.”
At the committee hearing, Smith cited investigations by the London-based China Tribunal, which concluded in 2019:
“Forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale and that Falun Gong practitioners have been one – and probably the main – source of organ supply…”
Following this judgment, human rights experts at the United Nations issued a statement in 2021 expressing their alarm from these findings. “Forced organ harvesting in China appears to be targeting specific ethnic, linguistic or religious minorities held in detention, often without being explained the reasons for arrest or given arrest warrants, at different locations,” the experts said. “We are deeply concerned by reports of discriminatory treatment of the prisoners or detainees based on their ethnicity and religion or belief.” The experts called on China to promptly respond to the allegations of ‘organ harvesting’ and to allow independent monitoring by international human rights mechanisms.
Similarly, the Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act will be the first step to “stop this barbaric practice—starting first and foremost with the People’s Republic of China, but secondly its global enablers,” stated Representative Smith.
More information and developments on forced organ harvesting in China in the topic page below.