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About Human Rights & Human Biotechnology


Claims to universal human rights depend, in part, on formal recognition of our common humanity. Many countries use human rights as a broad framework to think about regulatory options for human biotechnologies. International declarations also commonly use this framework. Examples include the Council of Europe's Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine and UNESCO's Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights.

The Convention on Biomedicine and Human Rights, like a number of other international agreements and declarations, rejects biotechnology applications that would alter the genomes of future generations. Manipulating genes in a manner that encodes inequality into our genes could easily unravel centuries of progress toward respecting human worth.



California Set to Prohibit Sterilization of Prisonersby Jonathan ChernoguzBiopolitical TimesJuly 24th, 2014With the unanimous approval of Senate Bill 1135 in Sacramento last month, the victims of recent unauthorized sterilizations in California prisons, and their advocates, seem likely to win this important victory.
Eugenic Policies of the Past Teach Sobering Lessonsby Calum MacKellarThe ScotsmanJuly 24th, 2014The support of Scottish thinkers for eugenics is revealed in a new book entitled The Ethics of the New Eugenics.
Making Sense of the BRAINby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJuly 24th, 2014As criticisms of the brain projects on both sides of the Atlantic ramp up, what lessons can be learned from the successes and failures of the Human Genome Project?
A Whisper Past: Childless after Eugenic Sterilization in Albertaby Moyra LangLiving Archives on Eugenics BlogJuly 21st, 2014Leilani Muir, eugenic survivor, has written her biography and launched it at the Alberta Gallery of Art.
Closing the Information Gap on International Surrogacy[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Elayne CliftWomen's Media CenterJuly 16th, 2014The Center for Genetics and Society and Our Bodies Ourselves are teaming up to shed light on the human rights aspects of cross-border surrogacy.
Should We Design Our Babies? [VIDEO] [With CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]The Aspen InstituteJuly 2nd, 2014At the Aspen Ideas Festival, Marcy Darnovsky and Nita A. Farahany discuss the possibility and implications of "designer babies."
Deadline Looms for NC Eugenics Victims Paymentsby Jerome Batley jrAssociated PressJune 26th, 2014North Carolina is the first of 33 states that ran forced sterilization programs to compensate victims. 520 people have come forward.
Eugenics Reparations Removed from Budgetby Joyce LiptrapLetter to the Editor, News LeaderJune 25th, 2014Virginia House Bill 1529: Justice for The Victims of Sterilization would have created a fund for reparations to Virginia residents physically mutilated at the hand of state funded institutions.
'Shoebox IVF' Hope for Infertile Couplesby Cathy EdwardsBBCJune 21st, 2014Infertility has been neglected in developing countries, partly because of a focus on controlling overpopulation. But experts argue that true reproductive health has to address both sides.
Female Prison Inmates Sterilized Illegally, California Audit Confirms by Corey G. JohnsonCFIRJune 19th, 2014The California state auditor blasted federal and state oversight of sterilization surgeries for female prison inmates, finding numerous illegal surgeries and violations of the state’s informed-consent law.
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