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Organ transplantation is one of the life-saving medical breakthroughs of the 20th century. Over the years, this accomplishment has been marked by growing reports of organ trafficking. Vulnerable people in poor regions have become victim to illegal transplant networks.

In 2008, the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the Transplantation Society (TTS) worked on preparing content for the Istanbul Declaration on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism. Their efforts culminated in the Declaration being finalized at the International Summit in Istanbul, Turkey.

This framework governs organ donation and transplantation activities. It is not binding, but ensures donor and recipient safety, enforces standards and prohibits unethical practices worldwide. ISN has also set up a group to guide activities and help governments, as well as the medical and patient community fight this problem.

Driving out illegal practices

The Declaration calls on the medical community, especially transplant surgeons and nephrologists, to join the World Health Organization (WHO), to put pressure on Health Ministries with a transplantation program, to eliminate organ trafficking and transplant tourism.

After a series of meetings, the TTS and ISN have created a Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group (DICG), which had its inaugural meeting in Cairo, in March 2010.

For more information, please visit the Declaration of Istanbul website at


ISN new DICG Public Consultation to the Update of the Declaration of Istanbul

 DOI consultation

Participate in the DICG public consultation concerning the Declaration of Istanbul (2018 Edition)

To view the draft DoI (2018 Edition) and provide your feedback via our survey, please click here.

To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Declaration of Istanbul (DoI), a working group of the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group (DICG) has prepared a draft update to the Declaration. The revisions made in this 2018 Edition are intended to ensure that the DoI remains a valuable source of ethical guidance for health professionals and policy makers during the next decade in the face of persisting and emerging challenges in organ trafficking and transplant tourism around the world. To achieve this goal, we need your help.

Please share your time and expertise with us, and provide feedback on our draft documents here. 


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