Around the world, national academies and their members have made outstanding contributions to the improvement of the human condition. Their knowledge and expertise is essential in addressing pressing domestic and international concerns related to science and technology. Engagement with internationally recognized human rights norms complements this vital work and helps to shape responsible solutions to new global challenges.
In recognition of the unique and important role national academies play in promoting human rights, the IHRN has begun the development of resources designed to inspire academies wishing to become more involved in human rights issues.
Human Rights & COVID-19 Repository
Through their research and other activities, many national academies are examining the connections between science, engineering, health and human rights and working to promote rights-based approaches to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To highlight this important work, the IHRN has launched a repository with selected academy activities independently produced in this area.
The IHRN's resource guide, Engaging with Human Rights in the National Academy Context, highlights the creative, and varying, ways in which national academies around the world are integrating human rights activities into their work.
Released in September 2018, the guide examines:
A webinar (featured below) was held in October 2018 to delve further into certain key themes addressed in the resource guide. Speakers from several national academies participating in the IHRN shared their views on the importance of human rights for them personally and for their academies. They included:
- Abdallah S. Daar, Executive Committee Member, International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies
- Martin Chalfie, Chair of the Committee on Human Rights, U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
- Esther Mwaikambo, Past President, Tanzania Academy of Sciences
- Peter Vale, Member, Academy of Science of South Africa
- Hans-Peter Zenner, Chairman of the Human Rights Committee, German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
Resources from Participating Academies
Online Guide from the U.S. National Academies' Committee on Human Rights
To help empower colleagues undergoing rights abuse, along with their families and other supporters, and to assist them in obtaining justice, the U.S. National Academies' Committee on Human Rights (which serves as the Secretariat for the IHRN) has produced Confronting Human Rights Abuses: A Guide for Supporting Scientists, Engineers, and Health Professionals Under Threat. This e-guide, specifically tailored to scientists, engineers, and health professionals, includes information on international human rights norms and complaint mechanisms, advocacy tools and strategies, and assistance providers.