Three recommendations on the General Comment on Science

Three recommendations on the General Comment on Science

A few weeks ago, the draft General Comment on Science was published.

Science for Democracy has been campaigning for years for the full recognition of the right to science, and will be submitting comments to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. There are three main recommendations:

1) Paragraph 89, the last of the document that is dedicated to “A human right to science” should be included at the outset of the text and, possibly, reformulated as follows:

This set of rights, entitlements, liberties, duties or obligations related to science, analyzed in this General Comment, might be brought together in a single broad concept named “the human right to science”, in the same way that, for example, “the human right to health” encompasses a broad set of rights and freedoms affecting human wealth and well-being. This approach and this name have already been adopted by the Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights, by UNESCO, by some international conferences and summits and by some important scientific organizations and publications.

2) The General Comment should become the basis for the development of guidelines to assist Member States in their documenting the implementation of article 15 of the ICESCR.

3) Given the growing importance of science in our daily life, and its possible positive and negative impact on billions of people, Member States should consider the possibility to establish a Special Rapporteur on the Right to Science or the human rights implication of Science (as described in the General Comment) also through ad hoc debates to be hosted by the UN Council on Human Rights.

Science for Democracy invites everyone to contact their government to share these recommendations and ask them to submit them on behalf of their Member State, in order to show the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights that there is a wide consensus around these proposals.

The General Comment will also be part of the agenda of the VI World Congress for freedom of scientific research that will be held in Addis Ababa on 25-26 February.