Desperate to reach Europe, people from Africa are travelling to Egypt and selling body parts to pay for their onward passage. Seán Columb has spent more than five years researching this subject. Plus: Ruth Maclean on Nigeria’s upcoming elections
Desperate to reach Europe, people from Africa are travelling to Egypt and selling body parts to pay for their onward passage. According to a 2018 report, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has collected data on 700 incidents of organ trafficking, primarily from north Africa and the Middle East. These figures are conservative at best. The true scale of the industry is difficult to assess as the majority of cases go unreported, with victims reluctant to come forward for fear of deportation, arrest or shame.
Seán Columb spent five years researching and interviewing victims of organ trafficking, as well as the brokers who organise the operations. He discusses with India Rakusen why the trade appears to be flourishing in Egypt, bolstered by an EU-funded clampdown on refugees by security forces.