With the financial support of the Prevention of and Fight against Crime Programme
European Commission - Directorate General Home Affairs


Welcome to the homepage of the international research project, 'combating trafficking in persons for the purpose of organ removal', otherwise known as 'the HOTT project'. This was the first EU-funded project against this 'new' and neglected form of trafficking in human beings. With this project we aimed to increase knowledge and information, raise awareness about the crime and to improve its non-legislative response. The project ended at the end of 2015.
Who are we?
We are a group of enthusiastic, dedicated researchers who conduct empirical research on this illegal transplant activity. This website explains who we are and what we did. Our unique timeline illustrates when and where we worked.

Why did the European Commission fund this project?

An increasing number of indications emerge from countries across the globe on trafficking in human beings for the purpose of organ removal (THBOR). Many countries have implemented adequate legislation against THBOR, yet its non-legislative response is practically nonexistent. This project aimed to develop a structured and effective action to increase awareness and improve the enforcement of the crime. To learn more about the EU programme that funded this project, click here.

Who were the beneficiaries?

The HOTT project was an initiative by the Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam (The Netherlands) that led the project in close collaboration with Lund University (Sweden), the Bulgarian Center for Bioethics (Bulgaria) and the Academic Society for the Research of Religions, SACRI (Romania). These beneficiaries, represented by a group of enthusiastic researchers, were supported by a large number of associated partners and advisers from countries worldwide that participated on a non-funded basis.

What was the duration?

The project ran from November 2012 until October 2015.

What did we do?

We conducted scientific, empirical research on THBOR in countries across the globe. The focus of our research was THBOR and not other forms of organ trafficking. 

How do we present our results?

All reports have been completed and are available on our website (see reports). In addition, we are publishing our work in scientific journals and books (see overview here). We also presented our results at the international symposium on 21 November hosted by Europol at its headquarters in The Hague, The Netherlands. Finally, we circulated the reports among police forces and other key stakeholders worldwide with the help of our associated partners.

What else did we do?

All activities can be found on this website. We also provide information about other forms of human organ trade.

How can we be contacted?

You can contact us by phone or e-mail.

International Symposium

21 November 2014

Europol, The Hague,The Netherlands

> Programme
> General information