COFS works with its partners in Bahrain, Egypt, India, and Nepal – countries that serve to host organ trafficking and/or send transplant tourists (clients) of organ trafficking. We work to develop local, national, and regional strategies with a range of prevention measures. We also have representatives and program developments in Bangladesh, Kuwait, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Yemen.
COFS work to combat organ trafficking and advance altruistic and deceased organ donation entails a diverse approach to prevention and advocacy.
- Policy reform- to advance altruistic and deceased organ donation and to protect individuals from organ trafficking
- Target-group and public awareness campaigns and calls to action
- Engaging decision-makers and key stakeholders in the mission to end organ trafficking
- Grassroots advocacy with potential targets of organ trafficking
“Consider us the friends you never told.”
– COFS Advocate to survivor of organ trafficking
The international community of transplant scientists, medical ethicists, social scientists, and social workers are at a consensus that there are insufficient longitudinal clinical follow-up studies on survivors of organ trafficking (also referred to as commercial living organ donors/ CLDs). Increasingly however, studies have indicated that survivors of organ trafficking consist of the poor and vulnerable who pay the heaviest health, economic, social, and psychological consequences of the organ trade (Abouna 2003; Budiani 2005, 2006, 2010, 2011; Goyal et. Al. 2002; Scheper-Hughes 2000; Shaheen 2001; Zargooshi 2002). To our knowledge, there are currently no other organizations that provide outreach services to survivors of the organ trade. COFS builds partnerships with local health and human rights organizations to facilitate, administer, and tailor programs to meet local sensibilities and needs.
According to the existing studies on consequences and an assessment of these survivors’ needs, COFS has developed five outreach program services. Our programs are restricted to services that address consequences that are direct results of their commercial organ removal and include:
- Health services and long-term clinical follow up
- Health education
- Income generation/ employment assistance
- Counseling and peer support
- Referral to legal services
In addition to these programs, COFS staff conducts ongoing visits and interviews with survivors to inquire about their health, work, employment situation, and social well-being. This outreach/follow-up provides rich qualitative data which supplements clinical findings. Such studies have increasing value for transplants scientists and policy makers.