Illegal kidney trafficking a growing problem in Nepal
Thousands of kidneys are obtained illegally every year by black market traffickers, and the problem is reportedly getting worse as the organ trafficking trade thrives around the globe.
According to a new report from CNN, activists and authorities say the illegal kidney trade is particularly problematic in Kavre, a small district near Napal's capital.
Traffickers often prey on the poor people who live there. One man told CNN he was told he would get the equivalent of about $30,000 U.S. dollars if he let a doctor cut a "hunk of meat" from his body.
CNN; "He also promised me that the meat will grow back. I thought, 'If the meat will regrow again, and I get paid for it, why not? I had no idea they were taking out my kidney."
He was later discharged and left with one kidney and less than $300. He never received the rest of the promised payment, and his family says he's getting sicker by the day with constant urinary tract infections.
That man is just one of hundreds who have reportedly suffered a similar fate. According to the Forum for Protection of People's Rights, more than 300 people in Kavre have claimed to be victims of kidney traffickers in the last five years.
A report from Global Financial Integrity on the black market organ trade says kidneys are the organs in highest demand. Up to 7,000 kidneys are reportedly obtained illegally around the world every year, and trafficking rakes in between $514 million and $1 billion each year.
Nepal is just one of several poverty-stricken countries that have become well-known in the black market kidney trade. Many people across China, India, Syria and Vietnam have reported selling their organs to make extra money.
Some traffickers even kidnap children for their organs. The New York Daily News reports back in March, police in Mexico arrested an alleged cartel member who authorities say helped identify people with certain characteristics, kidnap them and then harvest and sell their organs.
Selling human organs is a crime under Nepal's law, as it is in most places. Authorities are attempting to crack down on organ trafficking in Kavre, but a local journalist told the Nepali Times the government isn't serious about controlling it.
According to CNN, the kidney trafficking rings in Kavre are now expanding to other nearby villages.