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Uganda Passes Strict Landmark Law Prohibiting Stealing of Human Organs


Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has signed a strict landmark law that prohibits the Stealing buy or sell stolen human organs.

This new law is a crucial step in the fight against the illegal organ trade, which has been a growing problem in recent years. The new law includes stiff penalties for those caught stealing organs, as well as those who knowingly buy or sell stolen organs.

Uganda Passes Strict Landmark Law Prohibiting Stealing of Human Organs
A patient rests on a bed in a hospital in Kampala, Uganda [James Akena/Reuters]
Uganda has long been synonymous with organ trafficking, where women have been reportedly duped into unnecessary surgeries in order to facilitate the trade in body organs. But now, the African nation is finally taking steps to crack down on this insidious form of crime, as the government has passed a strict new law prohibiting any commercial dealings in human organs and phenomena.

The President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, signed the Uganda Human Organ Donation and Transplant Bill 2023 to better regulate the area, with Health Minister Jane Aceng hailing the move and expressing gratitude to Museveni. This move follows mounting international pressure on Uganda in the wake of a highly controversial anti-LGBTQ law, which included the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality”, although the two issues are obviously unrelated.

Uganda Passes Strict Landmark Law Prohibiting Stealing of Human Organs
Uganda Passes Strict Landmark Law Prohibiting Stealing of Human Organs.

The law, which is the first of its kind in Uganda, strictly prohibits any commercial transactions involving human organs and tissues. It is expected that those found guilty of such actions will receive sentences as severe as life imprisonment and hefty fines in order to deter potential violators from engaging in such practices.

The law itself has been a long time coming, with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the powerful Catholic Church in Uganda publicly lamenting the rampant prevalence of organ trafficking. As recently as September 2022, Health Minister Aceng held a press conference in which she admitted that demand for organ transplants was high, yet Uganda was without an adequate law to regulate these said practices.

Therefore, the passage of this new law reaffirms Uganda’s commitment to combating the theft and trafficking of human organs, and it is hoped that this positive step will serve as an example to other countries across the world grappling with similar issues. Now Ugandans can finally enjoy the quality healthcare services they are entitled to and live their lives without the fear of becoming victims of exploitation.

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