SOCHUM

Preventing Illegitimate Organ Donations

Difficulity: Beginner

Single Delegate

Council Description:

The Third Committee, otherwise known as the Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee (SOCHUM), is one of the six main bodies of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly. This body is responsible for dealing and resolving international concerns related to human rights, humanitarian affairs, and social matters. Pursuant of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights in 1945, the Third Committee caters to a wide spectrum of humanitarian and cultural issues, ranging from protecting the rights of children to improving international drug control. SOCHUM serves as a free platform for states to coordinate and collaborate in promoting human rights and to safeguard each person's fundamental freedoms.

Topic Description:

Organ transplantation has been dubbed as the most crucial and impactful medical invention of the twentieth century. This procedure succeeded in prolonging the life span of thousands of patients, with its success rate that had skyrocketed since the 1980s. However, the supply cannot meet its rising demand for organ availability. According to the Global Observatory on Donation And Transplantation, as of 2013, the number of transplants may have met only about 10% or less of the global needs. The accessibility of organs transplants either donated or bought invites the black market for organs to capitalize on this “opportunity.” This phenomenon should be tackled in several dimensions, including human rights, health and criminal justice. Not only does illegitimate organ trading pose questionable sanitary implications of the harvested organ, but the ever-growing market for illegal organ transplantations costs the livelihood of various marginalized groups. Those trapped in human (and sex) trafficking and conflict zones are frequently vulnerable subjects for exploitation. With the added context of COVID-19, many people turn to organ harvesting as a method to alleviate poverty, as often done by migrants, refugees, and the unemployed. Seeing that the organ trafficking scheme is becoming increasingly organized and established across borders, delegates are urged to discuss methods of cooperation to increase the availability of organ donations while preventing cases of human trafficking.

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