The unfortunate COVID-19 has taken so much attention from the world that very little focus is being placed on some critical, yet emerging issues equally dangerous and worrying.
An issue such as human organ trafficking across international borders is raising its ugly head.
Though I normally do not take much heed to some of the stories on social media, one that, however, piqued my curiosity earlier in the week was a United Nations (UN) alert.
My mind raced amok combing every link I could think of on the internet. I was itching to ascertain the veracity of the alert on human organ trafficking that the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) had put out.
The UN alert also carried a kind of tag line, “Share to save a life”. I felt it an obligation to research, share and bring attention to a deadly international practice that is being perpetrated on innocent people.
Harvesting of organs
My deduction from the alert pointed to a fact that the harvesting of internal vital organs of humans is becoming hot cakes in some parts of the world. Due to the success rate of healthy organ transplant into patients whose organs are failing or have failed, it is alleged that demands for healthy organs have outstripped supply.
Consequently, a vacuum has been created for an international organ trafficking syndicates.
The alert put out by UNODC specifically mentions a booming illicit market for human parts in the Middle East. It goes on to give shocking price indications for the trade with healthy kidney topping the list at $262,000. Liver is quoted to be selling at $157,000 while a heart is selling at $119,000.
With such huge price tags for these vital human parts on the black market, my conviction is for the world to focus on human trafficking as well as dubious advertising for jobs abroad, two things that could easily be used as traps. Indeed, the said alert alludes to both and cautions also against work recruitment abroad.
Every now and then, one comes across very juicy packages for recruitments abroad in the media. The advertisers specify the healthy age groups they are looking for. Sometimes they focus their search on lower-skilled jobs and specify vacancies for such positions as masons, carpenters, plumbers, and caregivers.
The devil is in the detail and the catch is clear. How many in such categories would have the time and the resources to do any due diligence before rushing to accept the juicy recruitment offers abroad which sometimes come with free visa application fees and airline tickets? Is there a free lunch anywhere these days?
Ridiculous and scary as the illicit international human organ trafficking seems, one can equally compare some of the atrocious and sickening local stories of missing body parts on some murdered victims, including the vulnerable.
Many times, the speculation out there is that the missing body parts are taken for ritual purposes. One cannot rule out motivations for money, health, protection and power as some of the sought after outcomes.
What is clear though in both the international illicit trade in human organs and the local ritual murders however is an undisputed greedy agenda out there at the cost of other lives. The UNODC has sounded a strong alert and so should we all regarding missing persons.
Coronavirus is doing its best to attack and destroy, appearing in our spaces with all forms of surprising deadly variants. For over one year, that is where international and local attention has been concentrated. Now that there are vaccines to bring infection rates down as countries prepare to go back to near normal lives once again, eyes should be opening for other atrocities in our midst.
Without a doubt, therefore, jobs abroad without due diligence must not be entertained by anyone. I am wondering why the media should not refuse such advertising in their spaces simply for the reason to help save lives.
The fight against human trafficking should be escalated across country borders as it could be a clear avenue for organ harvesting. The same red alert should apply to supposed ritual murder cases. Such cases should receive priority hearing at our courts with stiffer punishments.
The message for now is, “Let us share, to save a life”. I am sharing. Will you?