Fact-Check: Did the UN Put Out an Alert on Booming Human Body in the Middle East?
A viral WhatsApp screenshot claims that the United Nations has put out an alert that there is a booming black market for human parts in the Middle East which sells Kidney, Heart, Liver among other human parts.
The claims made use of an official domain name but fake subdomain, category and path which does not exist on the UNODC website. The claim therefore is False.
The screenshot bears the United Nations logo with the heading “Organ Trafficking” and a subheading “United Nations Alert,” along with a text which reads as follows:
“The black market for parts of the human body is booming in the Middle East. A Kidney now cost 262,000 dollars (131 million CFA francs); the heart costs 119,000 dollars (60 million CFA francs) and the liver costs 157,000 dollars (79 million CFA francs).
Beware of fake foreign agencies promising to make you work abroad. They process your papers, pay your plane ticket and just take you abroad pretending they want to find you a job, but instead, they kill their victims, recover all the precious parts of their bodies.
Many people have been offered jobs in the Middle East and so far their families have been unable to locate them. SHARE TO SAVE LIVES”
It also gave a link to buttress the claim as follows:
In order to verify this, PRNigeria entered the given link in a browser, while the link took us to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime page, the result displayed however stated that the “page or document not found,” it also showed a text which reads, “Unfortunately, the page or document you requested in not available. Please make sure that the address (URL) is correct. You can try to use our Search to locate pages or documents.”
Using the search option as displayed by the given result on the UNODC website with the key word “organ trafficking middle east,” no single page or document which supports the claim turned up in the result.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC; French: Office des Nations unies contre la drogue et le crime) is a United Nations office that was established in 1997 as the Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention by combining the United Nations International Drug Control Program (UNDCP) and the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division in the United Nations Office at Vienna. and was renamed the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in 2002.
The agency’s focus is the trafficking in and abuse of illicit drugs, crime prevention and criminal justice, international terrorism, and political corruption.
While the claim used the official UNODC domain name, “unodc” and domain category/extension “.org” it trickily inserted subdomains “/unodc/en/organized -crime” and paths “/intro/emerging-crimes/organ-trafficking.html” to convince viewers, however it will not load given that such page does not actually exist on the official website.
While it is highly advisable that internet users be wary of foreign agencies making mouthwatering job promises and comfort abroad, the claim that a black market for human parts is thriving in the Middle East is False.