Illegal Human Organ Trade in India:
A study of the International Socio-Legal Perspective


According to a report by NHRC (National Human Rights Commission) published in the year 2005, states on an average any year there are 44000 children goes missing and out of which 11000 remain untraced.[1] In past one year in Uttar Pradesh alone 1914 children have been reported missing out of which only 1036 were traced by the police.[2] A report published by DNA has suggested that this number has soared by 84% in comparison to preceding years.[3] The same NHRC report also mentions a substantial connection of organ trafficking related to missing children report.Also according to the data of government of Uttar Pradesh Anti Human Trafficking Unit, only 30% of missing people are reported and there is no concrete data on missing children.[4] It is noteworthy that UP has perforated 619 Kms of boundary share with Nepal. At present 35 Anti Human Trafficking Units are working in the State and Transplantation of Human Organs (Amendment) Act, 2011 govern the organ transplantation in India but the demands of the organs are higher than actual supply which opens gate for illegal organ transplantation and which is in close nexus with missing children who are most vulnerable and easy target. Considering how lucrative the business is, child trafficking for illegal organ transplant is an organized business and operating covertly but in widespread manner. It is a double benefit for the trafficking mafias where they can push the trafficked children into forced labour and begging as well as prostitution after organ stealing. High profile involvement of medical practitioners have been reported into illegal organ transplant and thus it is an alarming situation, because this does not operate in isolation but human trafficking is the sole feeder to this illegal trade.[5]

Objective of the Study:

The present study is aimed to prepare a working paper on identifying the flourish in the trade of child trafficking for illegal organ transplant and the effectiveness and shortcomings of the present operating tools to curb the menace.The study also aims to determine the ratio of male and female trafficking for the illegal organ transplant and the measures operative and determining the vulnerability, safety and rehabilitation of victims on gender specific basis.

Legal Framework Background:

This study will analyze the existing legislations and operatives upon the research area which has been identified broadly as:

1. Importation of girls from foreign country (Sec. 366B IPC)

2. Procuration of minor girls (section 366A IPC)

• Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act 1956

1. Human trafficking (section 370 & 370A IPC), Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013,

2. Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill 2016- DRAFT

3. Transplantation of Human Organs (Amendment) Act, 2011

United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime(UNTOC)Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children. (ratified by India)


This study will mainly be adopting the empirical and quantitative research approach. The researchers intend to focus on the city of Lucknow in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India for their research work. The field work will involve collection of data from the primary sources which includes various Governmental organizations, NGOs etc. The researchers intend to conduct interviews of the representatives of Governmental and Non-Governmental organization representatives working in this field. Specific interviews will also be conducted with the donors as well as the end-users of these organs. This will bring out a wholesome picture of the socio-economic factors that are involved in this discourse.

An important aspect of the study comprises of the special focus on the organ trafficking of the children between 5-12 years. While doing that, the researchers intend to find out the male-female ratio regarding the illegal organ trafficking. Also our intention is to find out the voluntary and non-voluntary factors that stimulates the donors or their guardians to fall into the trap of the discourse.

A doctrinal approach will be followed in commenting upon the national and international laws that are there to safeguard us from these illegal activities. A part of the study will be dedicated to the international legal mandates that India is subjected to in terms of the crime. This will not only focus on India’s position in the international index but also look into the measures that the country has adopted to abide by these mandates.

The study will focus especially on the effectiveness of the implementation of these measures in this country. This will be revealing the roles that are played by the State agencies in the process of implementation and also how the NGOs and social workers like Human I Am Foundation is helping in the process.

In the concluding part of the study, the researchers will study the recommendations that are given by various state agencies and the non-state actors. This part of the study will also evaluate the extent to which these recommendations are put into force. The research will be concluded with the researchers’ own recommendations to improve the situation.

Main Research Questions

1. To what extent (percentage) the children are victimized in Lucknow for the illegal trafficking of human organs?

2. What are the socio-economic and cultural factors that trigger victims to fall into the trap of this organized crime?

3. What is India’s safety index in the international world in relation to this crime?

4. What is the legal framework that the country has adopted in the past 10 years to fight this menace? (Assessment of the same)

Tentative Chapters

1. Background and Overview of the study

This Chapter will be an introductory one that will focus on the concept and importance of the study from a socio-legal context.

2. The Indian character of the crime: Case study on Lucknow

This chapter will mainly detail the status of the crime in India though an empirical study on the city of Lucknow.

3. Human Organ Trafficking: Illegality and its socio-cultural and economic stimulators

This chapter will focus on the different socio-cultural and economic factors that influence the donors to easily fall prey to the calls illegal organ trade rackets.

4. Why Children: Tender victims of the menace

This chapter will focus on the child-victims of this crime. Special attention will be given to a study on the male-female victim ratio. This will be followed by an analysis of the socio-cultural factors that might lead to the disparity in this ratio.

5. Study of International Safety Index in relation to Organized Trafficking Human organs: Where do we stand?

This chapter will study the international legal mandates regarding the protection of mankind from this menace. It will also bring out the position of India in the international community with regards to this crime.

6. International Legal Mandates on India: Is India following the same?

This chapter will review the international legal and human rights conventions that India is a part of, which deals with the protection against this organized crime. It will review the measures adopted by Government of India to abide by the mandates of these international conventions.

7. Efforts of the Non- Governmental Organizations

This chapter will focus on the important role that are played by the Non-Governmental Organization in generating the awareness and implementation of the governmental measures to adequately deal with the crime. A special study will be done on the efforts of Human I Am Foundation regarding their role in the process.

8. Recommendations