About the Custodian Group

The Mission of the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group (DICG) is to promote, implement and uphold the Declaration of Istanbul so as to combat organ trafficking, transplant tourism and transplant commercialism and to encourage adoption of effective and ethical transplantation practices around the world.

The Custodian Group’s role

The role of the DICG is to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy and coordinate related activities to achieve the Declaration of Istanbul’s mission. The DICG operates in the context of complementary documents; particularly, the World Health Organization’s Guiding Principles on Human Cell, Tissue, and Organ Transplantation.


    The Steering Committee of the Istanbul Summit prepared for the DICG’s creation at a series of meetings that followed the 2008 Istanbul Summit. On September 30, 2009, Declaration of Istanbul’s Steering Committee met in Beirut, Lebanon, along with the Congress of the Asian Society of Transplantation. Together, they formulated a strategy and plans for the Declaration’s continued implementation.

    A series of goals were developed to achieve the DICG’s mission and coordinate activities related to the Declaration of Istanbul. These goals included measures to enhance compliance with the Declaration’s Principles by professional societies, pharmaceutical companies and other organizations that fund transplantation research, and by journals that publish reports of clinical and research activities in transplantation. These goals also emphasized the need for national governments, regulatory authorities, and healthcare institutions to develop policies that put an end to commerce in human organs.

    The DICG was formally established in 2010.


    The DICG is composed of several task force groups under the leadership of two chairs, Sanjay Nagral (India) and Thomas Müller (Switzerland).


    All participants in the Istanbul Summit meeting are invited to play a role in the DICG’s ongoing work.

    DICG membership is open to all those who have actively participated in previous DICG meetings and activities. They must be committed to the principles outlined in the Declaration and wish to assist in the DICG’s ongoing mission.

    New members join the DICG through a process that requires commitment to the Declaration's principles in their own practice, and support of the DICG’s mission. Prospective members must be nominated by an existing member. They must provide a brief CV and a statement detailing their experience, expertise, and relevant interests to the DICG mission. Nominations should be sent to the DICG Executive for review.

Custodian Group Board of Councillors

  • Sanjay Nagral (India)
  • Thomas Müller (Switzerland)
Term ending in December 2024
  • Debasish Banerjee* (United Kingdom)
  • Marcelo Cantarovich (Canada)
  • Mehmet Haberal (Turkey)
  • Vivekanand Jha* (India)
  • Benita Padila* (Philippines)
  • Zhai Xiao-mei (China)
Term ending in December 2025
  • Mohamad Hany Hafez* (Egypt)
  • Nadey Hakim (United Kingdom)
  • Rümeyza Kazancıoğlu (Turkey)
  • Maria Amalia Matamoros* (Costa Rica)
  • Graham Paget (South Africa)
  • Khin Thida Thwin (Myanmar)
Term ending in December 2026
  • Georgina Irish (Australia)
  • Yewondwossen Tadesse Mengistu* (Ethiopia)
  • Matthew Koech (Kenya)
  • Matthew Weiss (Canada)
  • Jolanta Malyszko (Poland)
Honorary (Term of one year renewable)
  • Sanjay Nagral* (India)
  • Thomas Mueller* (Switzerland)
*Executive Committee Members
DICG Manager
  • Jennifer Groverman (USA)

If you are a DICG member, we ask that you notify us when your affiliation, position, and/or contact information changes.


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