Sunday, 07 February 2016 13:38

2016 DICG Board of Councilors and news updates

The Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group’s (DICG) Board of Councilors has come to its annual transition-point. A third group of Councilors have completed their second three-year term and new members have now joined for a new term. Find out more and also get a roundup of the group's latest activities.

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The Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group (DICG) is pleased to announce its new Board of Councilors. Elmi Muller (South Africa) joins Beatriz Domínguez-Gil as co-chair of the Board. New members of the Board, whose term will end in December 2018, are Nancy Ascher (USA), Mirela Bušić (Croatia), Somchai Eiam-Ong (Thailand), Riadh Fadhil (Qatar), John Gill (Canada), and Haibo Wang (China). The new board has approved the appointment of two of the retiring councilors, Gabriel Danovitch (USA) and Alexander Capron (USA) as Honorary Councillors.

Members of the 2016 Executive Committee are Beatriz Domínguez-Gil and Elmi Muller (Co-chairs), and Curie Anh (South Korea), Alexander Capron (USA), Rudolf García-Gallont (Guatemala), John Gill (Canada), Dominique Martin (Australia), and Philip O’Connell (Australia).

After serving the Board for a number of years as Executive Director, Francis Delmonico has agreed to become a Senior Advisor to the DICG. He will continue to provide advice, expertise, and assistance to the Board and other DICG members in their work combatting organ trafficking and transplant tourism across the world.

Current DICG activities

As the new Council settles in, there are plans for more activities this year. Additional work will also depend on the commitment of the broader DICG membership. In the meantime, the group is continuing to work on activities that began in 2015.

With the support of the Transplantation Society (TTS) and ISN, a small workshop will be held in Madrid in April  to discuss issues related to the prospective and retrospective management of patients traveling for transplantation. Two expert multidisciplinary working groups have already begun work in preparation for this meeting and a report will be shared with DICG members later in the year.

A statement clarifying the DICG’s position on payments to families of deceased donors was prepared late last year by members of the DICG Council and submitted for publication to Transplantation. Following approval of a revised statement by the new Council, the position statement will be published in Transplantation and shared with the DICG membership.

In December 2015, a number of DICG members had the privilege of participating in the International Symposium celebrating 40 years of the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) in Karachi, Pakistan. One of the many highlights of the meeting was learning more about the incredible work of DICG members at the SIUT in addressing issues of trafficking and tourism in Pakistan led by Professor Adib Rizvi. CLICK HERE for further information. Francis Delmonico and Beatriz Domínguez-Gil also visited the Saudi Centre for Organ Transplantation in Riyadh, where they met with DICG member Faissal Shaheen and his colleagues to discuss opportunities to improve deceased donation in Saudi Arabia.

The Declaration of Istanbul website is where you can get updates and  read recent international news about organ trafficking and transplant tourism, and commentary or publications addressing these issues, CLICK HERE. You can also find the list of current DICG Council members and information about the mission of the DICG and the role of endorsing organizations.

To share news reports from your own region in any language that may be relevant, please send them to If you would like to assist in the work of the website, for example by developing educational resources, please contact the editor Dominique Martin at 

Publication of the DICG working group paper on the issue of extraterritorial jurisdiction for transplant-related crimes

 The output of the working group convened during the DICG meeting in Doha in 2013 has now been published in Transplantation. If you would like a copy of the article, please contact

The Transplantation Society Ethics Committee is currently conducting a study investigating professional experiences of ethical issues in donation and transplantation. We encourage you to participate in this. CLICK HERE for more information.

Opportunities for DICG Member activity

Please remember that activities of the DICG depend upon the support of its members. As a volunteer-led organization, we rely on the enthusiasm and ideas of our members, but most especially on your willingness to commit resources – in particular your time.

We encourage all DICG Members to write to the chairs via with any of the following:

  • news of progress or challenges in addressing organ trafficking, commercialism and transplant tourism in all countries and regions. We will be glad to share reports with the Board and DICG membership in these quarterly updates.
  • questions or topics you wish the Executive and/or the Council to address.
  • information about opportunities for DICG to assist in work addressing trafficking and tourism, for example by writing in support of colleagues, or to encourage ministries of health to address local issues, by arranging visits of local DICG members together with Council members, by contributing to national or regional professional meetings etc.
  • suggestions on how DICG members can be more involved in the work of the DICG.
  • proposals to obtain funding that would support current or potential work by the DICG
  • expressions of interest in leading new work or contributing to specific DICG activities.

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