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Business and Professional Ethics Journal

Volume 32, Issue 1/2, Spring 2013

Hans Morten Haugen
Pages 49-76

Human Rights in Natural Science and Technology Professions’ Codes of Ethics?

No global professional codes for the natural science and technology professions exist. In light of how the application of new technology can affect individuals and communities, this discrepancy warrants greater scrutiny. This article analyzes the most relevant processes and seeks to explain why these processes have not resulted in global codes. Moreover, based on a human rights approach, the article gives recommendations on the future process and content of codes for science and technology professions. The relevance of human rights in the realm of individual conduct is based on the fact that while human rights treaties primarily outline State obligations, individuals have responsibility for human rights promotion. Human rights principles have only recently been subject to interests from policy makers and academics, and must be better clarified. Human rights principles are found to be relevant, but are effective only if they are applied in conjunction with substantive human rights.

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