The NSW Upper House yesterday passed Greens amendments to the Modern Slavery Bill that will be the first steps to addressing the exploitative global organ trade.

In an Australian first the NSW upper house has passed a bill that would require government agencies and private corporations to ensure that their supply chains are free from unethically traded human tissue and organs.

Greens MP and Justice Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

“This is the first step in doing everything we can here in NSW to address this appallingly exploitative international trade.

“We have evidence that people here engage in this unethical practice overseas, and our laws need be able to make this an offence not just in NSW but no matter where it happens.

“This law would go some way to ensuring there is no public hospital or private health facility in NSW which has any links with overseas facilities that engage in unethical organ trading.

“By classifying “trading in tissue” as a Modern Slavery Offence the Commissioner will be able to monitor and collaborate on suspected instances of trading in tissue in NSW.

“There will also be greater certainty that organ trading is not involved in supply chains, meaning corporations would need to be able to prove they were not using organs or tissues that come from black markets or are the result of trafficking.

“This bill still has to pass the lower house, and the Government have indicated they will seek to challenge these modest steps towards targeting organ harvesting. Millions are hoping they do no succeed.

“This move has enormous political support outside the chamber as well, with years of campaigning behind the change and literally hundreds of thousands of signatures presented to the NSW parliament about it.

“The best way to completely end organ trafficking is both to increase sanctions, and to improve organ donation rates in Australia. We encourage everyone who can to join the Australian Organ Donor Register.