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Article 15: the Right to Enjoy the Benefits of Scientific Progress and Its Applications Jessica Wyndham, Project Director AAAS Science and Human Rights.

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Presentation on theme: "Article 15: the Right to Enjoy the Benefits of Scientific Progress and Its Applications Jessica Wyndham, Project Director AAAS Science and Human Rights."— Presentation transcript:

1 Article 15: the Right to Enjoy the Benefits of Scientific Progress and Its Applications Jessica Wyndham, Project Director AAAS Science and Human Rights Program January 22, 2010

2 Prologue Context: International human rights framework Definition: What does the right mean? Application: The right in practice A role for the scientific community Outline Science and Human Rights Program

3 Prologue

4 Article 15, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights States shall: 1.recognize the right of everyone to (b) enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications; 2. conserve, develop and diffuse science and culture; 3. respect the freedom indispensable for scientific research and creative activity; and 4. recognize the benefits of international contacts and co-operation in the scientific and cultural fields. Science and Human Rights Program

5 Evolution of the right to science American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man Right to participate in the benefits that result from intellectual progress, especially scientific discoveries (Article 13) Universal Declaration of Human Rights Right to share in scientific advancement and its benefits (Article 27) International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications (Article 15) 1948 1966 Science and Human Rights Program

6 Broad acceptance of the right International declaration and resolutions: bioethics (2005); human genetic data (2003); environment (2003); scientific progress (1994) Regional treaties and declarations: Europe: biomedicine (1997); Americas: economic, social and cultural rights (1988); human rights (1948) National constitutions: Armenia (1995); Moldova (1994); Paraguay (1992) Among others… Science and Human Rights Program

7 Questions still to be answered Why have you never heard of this right? Is it a realistic right? What does the right mean? Who is responsible for implementing the right? Is there a role for scientists in defining the right? What can scientists do to promote implementation of the right? Science and Human Rights Program

8 Context: International human rights framework Science and Human Rights Program

9 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) 1 st international comprehensive statement of human rights basis for later national, regional, international human rights commitments basic principles, not law Science and Human Rights Program

10 Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 27 (1948) International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Article 15 (1966) International Bill of Rights Science and Human Rights Program

11 Life Torture Information Expression Association Political participation … Work Housing Health Environment Culture Benefits of Scientific Progress … International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) Science and Human Rights Program

12 1.Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to take steps, individually and through international assistance and co-operation, especially economic and technical, to the maximum of its available resources, with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of the rights recognized in the present Covenant by all appropriate means, including particularly the adoption of legislative measures. Article 2(1), International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Economic, social and cultural rights Science and Human Rights Program

13 universal: everyone, without exception inalienable: cannot be waived or taken away indivisible, interdependent, and inter- related: come as a package responsibility: governments All human rights are: Science and Human Rights Program

14 Nature of government responsibilities Respect: cannot do anything that will violate a human right Protect: cannot allow a third party to do anything that will violate a human right Fulfill: must do what is needed to make sure a human right is enjoyed Science and Human Rights Program

15 Definition: What does this right mean? Science and Human Rights Program

16 The UNESCO process: The Venice Statement Science and Human Rights Program

17 The UNESCO Process Science and Human Rights Program Process: three experts meetings over two years involving approximately 40 participants Purpose: to launch a process of research and dialogue on the content of this right Participants: lawyers, academics, medical ethicists, human rights practitioners, UN experts, AAAS

18 The Venice Statement: a preliminary vision Components: Fundamental Principles Normative Content Respect… Protect… Fulfill… Science and Human Rights Program

19 Venice Statement: Fundamental Principles a)Right applicable across all disciplines b)Science and applications must be compatible with human rights c)Right is relevant to civil and political, and economic, social and cultural rights d)Right linked to scientific freedom, rights of authors, food, health, environment etc e)Right can be enjoyed individually and collectively f)Right should applied consistently with precautionary principle g)Implementation requires close international cooperation Science and Human Rights Program

20 Venice Statement: Normative Content The normative content should be directed towards: a)Creation of an enabling and participatory environment b)Enjoyment of the applications of the benefits of scientific progress, implying non-discriminatory access c)Protection from abuse and adverse effects of science and its applications Science and Human Rights Program

21 Venice Statement: Duty to Respect… a)Freedoms indispensable for scientific research, including thought, to hold opinions, and seek, receive and impart information b)Right of scientists to form and join professional societies c)Freedom to collaborate with others both within and across international borders, including free exchange of information, research ideas and results Science and Human Rights Program

22 Venice Statement: Duty to Protect… a)Take measures to prevent use by third parties of S&T to the detriment of human rights b)Take measures to ensure the protection of the rights of human subjects, in particular the right to information, and free and informed consent Science and Human Rights Program

23 Venice Statement: Duty to Fulfill… a)Adopt a legal, policy and institutional framework to promote the development and diffusion of science b)Promote access to the benefits of science on a non- discriminatory basis c)Monitor the potentially harmful effects of S&T d)Encourage and strengthen international cooperation and assistance in S&T e)Provide opportunities for public engagement in decision-making about S&T f)Institute effective science curricula at all levels Science and Human Rights Program

24 Application: The right in practice Science and Human Rights Program

25 Government responsibility 160 governments have ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights The US has signed, but not ratified the Covenant Ratification: The treaty becomes part of the law of that country. Signatory: The government can not violate the object and purpose of that treaty. Science and Human Rights Program

26 Explicit action to implement right: examples Constitutional: incorporation of the right in domestic constitution Legislative: protecting scientific freedom supporting scientific associations or societies Judicial: regulating practices within the pharmaceutical industry Funding: support for research in identified areas of societal need Science and Human Rights Program

27 Implicit implementation of the right: examples Brazil: improving access to HIV/AIDS treatment Burundi: partnering with industry for health and education United Kingdom: protecting scientific freedom and researchers UNITAID: international cooperation for public health Science and Human Rights Program

28 Implicit implementation of the right: United States Priority review vouchers: - encouraging research into neglected diseases Open access: National Institutes of Health - providing access to scientific findings Funding criteria: National Science Foundation - assessing broader impacts of R&D Foreign policy: - promoting unfettered internet access Science and Human Rights Program

29 A role for the scientific community Science and Human Rights Program

30 Venice Statement 17. The comprehensive elucidation of this right, raising awareness of it, its implementation, and the monitoring of its realization require the cooperation and participation of [among others]… the scientific and academic communities. Science and Human Rights Coalition

31 States shall recognize the right of everyone … to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications. -- International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, Article 15 To advance science and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people -- AAAS Mission To advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people. -- American Chemical Society Mission Science and Human Rights Program

32 What can you do? Increase your knowledge and understanding Raise awareness within your organization newsletters, Annual Meeting sessions, trainings Use the right to inform your work: when setting funding and research priorities when designing and assessing research methodologies Rely on the right explicitly as appropriate: when addressing governments bound by the right when advocating for policy change based on law or principle Science and Human Rights Program

33 What is the Coalition doing? Through the Coalitions Joint Initiative: Raising awareness about the right: trainings, information materials, sessions Engaging scientific organizations in the elucidation of the right Exploring how the right relates to standards of good scientific practice Identifying indicators for measuring compliance with the right And more… Science and Human Rights Program

34 Article 15 Project AAAS Science and Human Rights Program Working with scientists to bring their skills and influential voices to bear on the promotion and application of the right to the benefits of scientific progress. http://shr.aaas.org/Programs/program_article15.htm Science and Human Rights Program

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