SEOUL, Korea, Nov 06 (Korea Bizwire) - The number of people who have signed a petition to oppose organ harvesting has surpassed 230,000, the highest level among countries in which similar appeals were circulated. The grassroots campaign is set to transform into a nation-wide movement with 5,000 medical professionals, 80 lawmakers, and more than 100 local and national-level politicians joining the cause.
Lee Seung-won, president of the International Organization for Ethical Organ Transplants, said of this development, “It seems a display of strong sense of justice unique to us Koreans. Given so many medical professionals signing the petition, I believe something will be definitely done about it.”
Korean Nurses Association president Sung Myung-sook also said after signing a petition by the Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting to the United Nations, “It’s time for the Korean Nurses Association with 310,000 members to seriously consider what to do at the organization’s level about this issue.”
Currently the act of forced organ harvesting being committed in China is showing signs of spreading elsewhere. Critics in the west have insisted that the Chinese government raise the transparency of the sources of more than 10,000 human organs being harvested every years, especially given China status as a WHO member.
Suzanne Scholte, a human rights activist of the Defense Forum Foundation, who visited Korea last month, answered on October 28 in a speech on North Korea’s human rights crisis at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies to a question, “Are you aware that North Korean women and children who defected to China are being sold for the purpose of organ harvesting?” “I have heard about it but haven’t been able to verify it.”
She added, “We are all now familiar with the story that Falun Gong practitioners were used for such purposes. Only two years ago a State Department report revealed it but nobody believed it was true. Just like that, we will soon know the truth about the North Korean defectors too.”