------------  NEWS RELEASE  ------------
From:     pressres2@parl.gc.ca
Date:     06 Dec 2013, 12:19:03 PM
Subject: Press Release - Office of Irwin Cotler MP / Communiqu¨¦ - Bureau du d¨¦put¨¦ Irwin Cotler


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


COTLER INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO COMBAT ORGAN HARVESTING


BILL WOULD CREATE NEW CRIMINAL OFFENSES, IMMIGRATION RESTRICTIONS


Prof. Irwin Cotler today introduced legislation to combat organ harvesting by introducing legislation that would sanction persons who, inside or outside Canada, are knowingly involved in the medical transplant of human organs or other body parts  obtained or acquired as a consequence of a direct or indirect financial transaction or without the donor¡¯s consent.


Explained Cotler, ¡°The evidence of organ harvesting and individuals trafficked for this purpose is as horrifying as it is shocking ¨C we must ensure that Canada has the tools to prosecute individuals who engage in or facilitate the practice. As well, this legislation seeks to prevent individuals from entering Canada if there is reason to believe they are doing so in an effort to facilitate or otherwise engage in organ harvesting¡±.


Cotler¡¯s bill was in part inspired by the work of David Matas and David Kilgour, who have extensively investigated Chinese organ harvesting, particularly that of Falun Gong practitioners. As Cotler put it, ¡°We cannot alone change abhorrent practices in other countries, but we can ensure that Canada is in no way complicit with this must fundamental violation of human rights.¡±


Cotler noted that the bill would also address instances when individuals are trafficked for organ harvesting, adding ¡°The news this fall of children being trafficked to the UK for organ harvesting is both sickening and appalling. The immigration provisions in this bill are specifically aimed at preventing something similar from happening here¡±.


Among other things, the legislation would also create requirements for certificates that a transplanted organ was obtained through donation, and establish a list of individuals believed to have engage in organ harvesting.


For more information:
Charlie Feldman, Office of Irwin Cotler MP
613 995 0121