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The Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights
The Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO at its 29th session on 11 November 1997. It is the first universal instrument in the field of biology.

The uncontested merit of this text resides in the balance it strikes between safeguarding respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the need to ensure freedom of research.

Together with the Declaration, UNESCO’s General Conference adopted a resolution for its implementation, which commits States to taking appropriate measures to promote the principles set out in the Declaration and encourage their implementation.

The moral commitment entered into by States in adopting the Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights is a starting point, the beginning of international awareness of the need for ethical issues to be addressed in science and technology. It is now up to States, through the measures they decide to adopt, to put the Declaration into practice and thus ensure its continued existence.

Federico Mayor
3 December 1997

Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights (11 November 1997)
[English] [French] [Spanish] [Arabic] [Chinese] [Russian]

Also available in Turkish


Year of approval 1997
Depositary Organization UNESCO



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