U.K. passes law to combat forced organ harvesting in China

Amendments to the Medicines and Medical Devices Bill (Bill 136) on February 11, 2021, in the United Kingdom (UK) became law after receiving Royal Assent, the legislative process’s last step. This historic bill became the first passed by the British government to combat the crime of live organ harvesting by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

 

The new Bill was passed with amendments to the previous Medicines and Medical Devices Act that would “confer power to amend or supplement the law relating to human medicines, veterinary medicines, and medical devices; make provision about the enforcement of regulations, and the protection of health and safety, concerning medical devices; and for connected purposes.”

The goal of the amendments was to prevent Britain’s medical institutions and practitioners from being complicit in the CCP’s state-sponsored massive killings on demand for organs.

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath moved the amendment, supported by cross-party peers, Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, Baroness Northover, Lord Ribeiro and the Health Minister, Lord Bethell. The amendment gives ministers the power to introduce regulations to ensure that human tissues, organs and cells imported from overseas—that may have been forcibly harvested—are not allowed to enter the U.K. for use in medicine.

Marie Rimmer MP started the amendment in the Commons, however there it lost the vote, only to be tabled again in the House of Lords with overwhelming support. A significant number of Lords spoke in support of the amendment during the Bill stages, raising the issue of forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners and Uyghurs and highlighting the China Tribunal Judgment.

Of particular significance was Amendment 13 to the bill, proposed by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath from the Labour Party and approved on Jan. 12, 2021. With this amendment, the UK banned “the use of human tissues or cells in relation to human medicines” and pushed the Government to take action against the crimes against humanity in China. 

Lord Hunt stated: “The world is increasingly aware of China’s forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience. This horrific crime of forcibly removing the organs from living victims—a process leading to inevitable murder— has recently been found by the China Tribunal to be happening extensively.”

He specifically mentioned the final judgment from the China Tribunal that “Forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale and that Falun Gong practitioners have been one – and probably the main – source of organ supply.”  

Lord Hunt said he hoped the bill can reflect the UK’s attitude and actions against the serious human rights violations committed by the CCP and that it can generate a positive impact in the international community.

Falun Gong (a.k.a. Falun Dafa) is a spiritual practice based on the tenets of truthfulness, compassion and forbearance. By 1999, it was estimated that about 70-100 million people in China alone were practicing Falun Dafa. Jiang Zemin, the CCP leader at the time feared its popularity as a threat to the communist ideology and began a nationwide campaign to eradicate the practice.

Since 1999, thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been imprisoned, tortured physically and mentally, subjected to forced labour and even killed for their organs. The UK has taken a positive step to combat the CCP’s crimes of forced organ harvesting and we hope that more countries will follow suit.