Trafficking in Human Organs

Trafficking in human organs involves coercion, deception, or false promises of payment to recruit victims.  Victims cannot consent to their own exploitation and may have organs removed without their knowledge, often when being treated for medical issues, which may be genuine or fabricated by traffickers. Despite the universal condemnation of organ trafficking, illegal organ trading persists globally, with an estimated 10% of all transplants being conducted illegally.

Malta signed and ratified the European Convention against Trafficking of Human Organs on 7th November 2018. The convention came into force on 1st March 2018. The aim of the Convention is to prevent and combat trafficking in human organs by criminalising certain acts; to protect the rights of victims as well as to facilitate national and international co-operation on action against trafficking in human organs.

The HRIU is currently collecting responses for the CoE Country Profile Questionnaire regarding the European Convention against Trafficking of Human Organs. The deadline submission of answers is 3rd May 2024.​

A new bill proposing a shift to an 'opt-out' system for organ donations was presented in parliament​ on Wednesday 21st February 2024, enjoying already unanimous support from all parties in the legislature.