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- As Delivered -

WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today delivered the following remarks in the United States House of Representatives in support of the STOP Organ Trafficking Act (H.R.3694):

“Turning to this bill, let me thank our Chairman of our Foreign Affairs Committee, Ed Royce.  And I want to thank Mr. Trott and Mr. Deutch for all their hard work on this measure.

“The World Health Organization estimates that, estimates that ten percent of all transplanted organs worldwide are illegally obtained.  That’s an alarming number.  But like so many illegal enterprises, this is a crime that’s poorly understood, that seeks out zones of impunity where the light of the law doesn’t shine and where information is hard to come by.

“So with a handful of estimates and reports, we’re left asking: Who are the victims of this crime?  How did they become trapped by this illegal trade?  What pressures and vulnerabilities made them susceptible?  What are governments doing to halt the practice, to track down those responsible, and to provide services to survivors?  Should this challenge be included in our efforts to confront modern slavery, or is this a different sort of problem altogether?

“This bill will help us get answers to these questions.  It calls for a report on this crime that will allow us to connect the dots.  Once we know what we’re dealing with, then we can figure out the best way to act and chart a path forward.

“So I’m glad to support it.  I thank the Chairman and the bill’s sponsors again.  And I reserve the balance of my time.”