02.09.2019 -

Human Right to Science Workshop: Latin American and Caribbean perspectives

During August 20 and 21st, UNESCO organized a discussion workshop on the human right to participate on scientific progress and its benefits, also known as right to science. It took place on the UNESCO Villa Ocampo Observatory in Argentina.

UNESCO, as the specialized Agency on Science within the United Nations system, has promoted discussions and several instruments that are framed within the right to science. The Venice Declaration on the Right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its aplications, Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights and the Principles of Sharing of Benefits, and more recently the Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers  approved by UNESCO General Conference in 2017.


This was the first workshop carried out in Latin America and the Caribbean aimed at having an in depth discussion about the development and implications of this right. The right to science is acknowledged on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, and is framed within one of the priority axes of action the Regional Bureau of Science has drawn for the years to come. Moreover, UNESCO has established the Right to Science and Access to Knowledge as one of the main work axes in the region, for which has already carried out several initiatives since the end of last year, and will continue to extend the topic in Latin America and the Caribbean.


Experts in different areas and disciplines from the region attended the discussion, hence allowing the incorporation of different points of view and multiple approaches coming from different realities to the debate.

Lidia Brito, director of UNESCO Regional Bureau of Science for Latin America and the Caribbean, opened the debate by highlighting “the human right to science is one of the most forgotten rights of the Universal Declaration, but at the same time holds a great relevance on the actual world”. Furthermore, she remarked that UNESCO, with its mandate to promote scientific relations between peoples by fostering peace for humanity’s general wellbeing, seeks to promote the development of the right to science on a global and regional level.

Seizing Rodrigo Uprimny’s participation (member of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights – Committee ESCR), during the workshop some specific recommendations were made to the Committee ERSC for the elaboration of the General Comment being drawn on the development on the right to science, due by the end of this year.


The Committee ERSC is working on a on the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications. During the workshop, some recommendations were made by the experts to the Committee, facing the General Comment being written up by the end of the year.


Furthermore, the Special Rapporteur on Soledad García, in sight of the discussions held, proposed requesting a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in order to start incorporating the right to science into the discussions held on the Inter-American Human Rights System.


Finally, participants agreed to create a multidisciplinary regional network that contributes to studying and enhancing the development of the right to science in Latin America and the Caribbean.

 Interview of participants





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