A human rights-based approach to science can ensure inclusive access to the benefits of scientific advancements, foster the place of women in sciences, and guide the establishment of sound policies in ethical issues in science, innovation and technology. UNESCO promotes the right to share in scientific advancement by enabling those in marginalized communities to contribute to and benefit from scientific progress. The Organization also takes action to preserve the diversity of knowledge systems and the sustainable use of natural resources in connection with the rights of indigenous peoples.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
Fostering the Links between Science and Human Rights
UNESCO has led global efforts to provide clarity on the links between Science and Human Rights and to articulate people-centred solutions to the challenges and opportunities of scientific progress and its benefits.
UNESCO Standard-Setting Instruments
The UNESCO Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers (2017) promotes science as a common good while balancing the freedoms, rights and responsibilities of researchers. Firmly anchored in human rights, the Recommendation champions inclusion and non-discrimination.
Other standard-setting instruments linking science with human rights
- UNESCO Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence
- UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science
- Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights (1997)
- Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights (2005)
- Declaration of Ethical Principles on Climate Change (2017)
Strengthening STI Systems for Sustainable Development in Africa
To support poverty reduction and achieve the SDGs, STI systems in Africa need to be strengthened. Building up and invigorating Africa’s scientific systems, encouraging research, creating opportunities to nurture and support research output, slow down brain drain, address gender inequalities and accelerate towards a knowledge-based society are critical elements for Africa’s future.