COVID-19: Time to Invest in the Human Right to Science
Posted: 21 Jul 2020 Last revised: 27 Jan 2021
Date Written: May 1, 2020
At this juncture, the relevance of the human right to science is undeniable. The right, for a long time has been the subject matter of deliberations within the purview of Article 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, Cultural Rights, 1966 (ICESCR). The provision has often been referred to as the neglected and underdeveloped segment of the ICESCR. Most deliberations concerning Article 15 have emphasised on the need for a definite meaning and scope of the right. In the year 2020, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) under the ICESCR made two interventions with the aim of defining, advancing and mainstreaming the right to science. The interventions include General Comment No. 25 on science and economic, social and cultural rights, and the Statement on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and economic, social and cultural rights. This paper concerns the above mentioned statements of the CESCR.
Keywords: right to science, ICESCR, general comments, human rights framework, scientific information, COVID-19, intellectual property rights, global inequality
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