Combating the Evils of Organ Harvesting

by | Jul 19, 2023 | Countering Human Trafficking & Gender-Based Violence

Many of us enjoy basic rights and liberties that we simply take as a given—the right to defend our families, freedom of expression, the right to pursue happiness, freedom of religion, and perhaps the most basic of all human rights, the right to life.
But there is a dark and evil practice afoot in some areas of the world that is too abhorrent for some of us to even fathom: it is a practice that is stripping people of their basic right to life and known as human organ harvesting. This is not a horror movie script but a reality today in countries such as Sierra Leone and Liberia. Those who illegally harvest organs are preying on victims who are often already marginalized and vulnerable, putting them in a position to fall victim to this ruthless trade that leaves families devastated, fearing for their own lives and those of their family members.

Organ harvesting is the unlawful killing of a human being and removal of his/her body parts for various reasons: fortune and profit, wealth and power, marriage and status, and for medical reasons such as an organ transplant. More often than not, this heinous practice is done simply for money and power with total disregard for human life.

At World Hope International, we are all too familiar with the underbelly of society bent on stripping humans of even the most basic human rights for their own gain. In Sierra Leone and Liberia, organ harvesting is a common occurrence throughout the year, but it becomes even more common during certain periods, such as political elections.

As reported by the United Nations and the International Bar Association, it is common belief of Sierra Leoneans that body parts from certain individuals can bring good fortune or luck in political situations. Any individual can become a victim of this crime, but typically, victims are children.

World Hope is combating this crime in both countries during a sensitive time when Sierra Leone has just completed their presidential elections and Liberia is set to undergo theirs in October. Public Awareness campaigns are reaching remote villages in each country, informing individuals about how to stay safe, how to notice signs of individuals who may have negative intentions, and how to report suspicious occurrences that could actually be organ harvesting. WHI is using billboards, information sessions, and public awareness spots on the radio to help people learn more about the devastating effects of these horrid practices.  The simple but empowering words inform, warn and advise:


SHOUT for your rights

SHOUT for your body

SHOUT for your life

SHOUT for your children

‘Kecha kecha, my body is not for sale’

Any time you feel you are in danger, run to the chief, to the police, to your family, or someone you trust.

Through this work, WHI is helping to push the needle closer to a world free from the fear of such crimes: Where a mother and her children can walk from one village to another in remote Liberia without fearing for their lives, or where children are not targeted for selfish and powerful purposes.

Whenever we find ourselves enjoying our own basic freedoms, let us remember those who could lose the basic right to life at any moment. Let us act in a way that could prevent one more person from being preyed upon by those bent on evil. Our rights as human beings are paramount, and we will continue to push for those rights and safeguards for individuals throughout the world.

Katie Milazzo

Katie Milazzo

Protection Specialist

World Hope International – West Africa

About Katie

To provide support for protection programs through World Hope donate to The Hope Fund.