Scientists and Human Rights

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Science  28 Nov 2008:
Vol. 322, Issue 5906, pp. 1303
DOI: 10.1126/science.1166691

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On 10 December 1948, the world's governments made history when they adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and agreed to ensure its "universal and effective recognition and observance." Over the course of six decades, this declaration has generated both tremendous hope and a substantial body of law obliging governments to respect, protect, and fulfill the rights inherent to all human beings. Though reaffirmed at every turn, one lesson of the past 60 years is that governments' commitment to human rights is only as strong as the demands of their citizens. As respected members of society, scientists are vital to securing governments' adherence to human rights.