Human Harvest: China’s Illegal Organ Trade

How does a country which, until 2010 didn’t even have an organ donation system, become the place where everyone goes to get organs not available elsewhere?

For years, China claimed that these organs came from executed prisoners. But when experts compared the number transplants carried out with the number of people executed, they found a large discrepancy. Yet China remains the only place in the world where you can get a heart and lung transplant in less than a week. So where are all these organs coming from?

In this award winning documentary, Nobel Peace Prize nominees David Matas and David Kilgour reveal how most of these organs come from Falun Gong practitioners, killed to order. They speak to doctors forced to remove organs from live political prisoners, to former prisoners of conscience, subjected to repeated blood tests, and to hospital clinics, who readily admit to having no problem obtaining ’live’ organ donors. An eye-opening investigation into the organ harvesting trade in China.


  • Year: 2014
  • Duration: 52 mins
  • Production: Flying Cloud Productions
  • Director: Leon Lee
  • Available Versions: ENG
  • Country of production: Canada



  • Awards: Peabody Award, First Prize at the Viewster Online Festival 2014, Grand Prize Humanitarian Award at the 2014 Global Film Awards. FRONTLINE Michael Sullivan Award for Journalism in a Documentary Film 2015. Best Documentary, Indie Fest 2014. Best Documentary Feature, Big Muddy Film Festival 2015. Best Documentary, Hamilton Film Festival 2014. AIB International Investigative Award (Association for International Broadcasting Awards 2015, London, UK); Honorary Award at IAFOR Documentary Film Award (Japan) Festivals: Terra Di Tutti Film festival 2016 (Italy); DIG Award International Documentary Festival (Italy); IAFOR Documentary Film Award (Japan); Viewster Online Festival; Indie Fest; Big Muddy Film Festival; Hamilton Film Festival; Human Rights Human Wrongs 2017 ( Norway)

Related Programs

Taiwan vs China: A Fragile Democracy

Taiwan remains determined to stand up as a vibrant, young democracy. But it won’t be easy…

More info

China’s New Silk Road

What China has baptised 'The New Silk Road' allows a pair of trainers to be transported by train from China to France in less than two weeks. But they also act as a vehicle for a wave of Chinese expansionism across the world.

More info

China: In the Mood for Life

China’s controversial one child policy may have been abandoned but the forced abortions and sterilizations and harsh punishments for unauthorized pregnancies continue.

More info