Goals, Objectives & Activities


The UNESCO Chair on Bioethics and Human Rights intends to foster solid scientific preparation and knowledge in bioethics and bio-law that will advance the well-being and solidarity for citizens of the world.  We are convinced that humanity’s progress is always accompanied by a respect for human dignity and human rights. The chair therefore intends to offer the following plan of action:


  • Creation of a community of scholars to study, dialogue and educate on the basic principles of bioethics in their scientific, ethical and juridical aspects.
  • Fostering these discussions in an atmosphere of openness and democracy which is a patrimony of the West, while at the same time in dialogue with other cultures and traditions.
  • The centrality of human person as the basis of human dignity and human rights will be emphasized and is the basis of dialogue and encounter among cultures.
  • To be current on the latest scientific developments in biomedicine and technology, anticipating the potential areas of conflicts by offering creative insights and proactive approach to address these issues.

Long-term objectives

  • To create a stable research environment to encourage investigation, analysis and studying the bioethical principles, values, concepts, and social and juridical implications contained in the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights in order to assist their application and promotion in the areas of science, biotechnology and medicine.
  • To create an international community of scholars and university students where they will meet in an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding. This network of friendship will promote an increasingly harmonious vision of bioethics. There will be a special emphasis on the diffusion of these values in developing countries.

Short-term objectives

1. Education and Training

  • In an atmosphere of freedom, bring out from students those universal values inherent in all cultures regarding goodness, truth and beauty.
  • Train students and professors with a sense of responsibility in the use of new technology.
  • Coordinate, direct and encourage research, learning and promotion of ethical and juridical aspects in the application of biotechnology and biomedicine.
  • Ensure the effective protection of human dignity and fundamental rights.

2. Research

  • Develop projects of investigation on ethical issues concerning human life, bioethics and human rights that bridge different cultures and the divide between ethics and science.
  • Foster multidisciplinary research in different branches of sciences as well as philosophy, sociology, theology, and other humanistic disciplines.
  • Encourage reflections and assessments behind responsible public decision-making.
  • Participate in and organize international congresses and forums on bioethics.

3. Information and Diffusion

  • Stimulate greater interests and social sensitivity on the different areas of reflection and discussion in important issues concerning life sciences, bioethics and human rights.
  • Contribute to the discussion of human values in the public forum.
  • Effective messaging of these universal values to all the stakeholders in the debate and thereby create public opinion.


Specific Activities

1. Education and Training

  • Specialization course in bioethics for journalists and the public in general.
  • Masters in bioethics and human rights for research scientists and health workers.
  • Doctorate in bioethics and human rights for future professors.
  • Summer course on bioethics and human rights.
  • Joint degrees in bioethics and law.
  • Conferences on the current developments by means of debates, cineforums, etc.
  • Development of e-learning materials.
  • Inter-university network of professors, students and experts.
  • Active participation in congresses and gatherings of experts.

2. Research

  • Coordination and direction of interdisciplinary research projects.
  • Providing scholarship funds in research.
  • Establishing a bioethics library with relevant books and specialized publications.
  • Granting awards in specific fields of investigation.
  • Creation of a biannual publication on bioethics and human rights.
  • Publication and editorial support for the publication of books on bioethics and development of a computerized research database.

3. Information

  • Organization of monthly a bioethics conference or seminar.
  • Creation of an internet page of the Chair with an on-line debate forum and consultations.
  • Providing bioethics news and opinion at the national and international level through e-newsletters.
  • Promotion of important events by means of an on-line calendar of activities.
  • Bioethics observatory: analysis of major conflicts and problems confronted by health professionals and patients and providing resolution from bioethical and juridical points of view.

4. Other activities

  • Collaboration with public and private institutions in development projects of research in the areas of bioethics and human rights.
  • Providing advice and contribution to different ethical committees in public and private health organizations.
  • Foster a healthy debate on bioethical issues in an academic framework.