The unnamed girl was brought to the UK from Somalia with the intention of removing her organs and selling them on to those desperate for a transplant.
Child protection charities warned that the case was unlikely to be an isolated incident as traffickers were likely to have smuggled a group of children into the country.
The case emerged in a government report which showed that the number of human trafficking victims in the UK has risen by more than 50 per cent last year and reached record levels.
This is exactly what I mean when I say that we abandon the embryo at our own peril. Once we accept the exploitation of one of our species for parts, then we all start to look like harvestable biological material that could be used better somewhere else.
Is it just a coincidence that as the West creates and destroys embryos on a massive scale, exploitation of those in the third world for their body parts by rich Westerners is on the rise? I doubt it.
This is the world we live in. Without a fundamental shift back to the understanding that human life is sacred no matter the stage of development, skin color, or socioeconomic status, this is going to continue and likely get worse.
Maybe it is time to consider Scott Carney’s proposal to get rid of anonymity in the flesh trade. Carney is an investigative journalist who has covered the red market, the market in human parts, all over the world. His book, The Red Market: On the Trail of the World’s Organ Brokers, Bone Thieves, Blood Farmers, and Child Traffickers , covers everything from blood transfusions, to kidney transplants, to egg donation, to surrogacy. The book sadly exposes the exploitation of the poor and weak that is rampant.
Carney asserts that it is the anonymity of organ transplants, blood transfusion and even egg donations that allows body brokers to exploit the poor and allows the recipients of ill-gotten parts to turn a blind-eye. Would you be so quick to accept that kidney if you knew it came from a girl from Somalia? Would a doctor transplant such an organ?
Obviously, anonymity is in place to protect both donor and recipient. But that is in a wholesome system were parts are obtained ethically. Anonymity in a world such as ours, where the West seems to have an insatiable appetite for parts, just protects the black marketeers and keeps their victims out of sight. No one is responsible because no one knows anything.
It is time to bring sunlight to the dark shadows of a growing organ market. Maybe getting rid of the anonymity that clouds the trade in body parts is a step in the right direction.