local situations, promotion of respect for international law, an increased number of missions of inquiry, publication of reports on cases and findings, and involvement in human rights education. One participant stressed the importance of, and expressed strong support for, addressing issues of academic freedom, academic independence, academic community, and individuality.

Wiesel said he thought the suggestion that the Network become involved in human rights education raised a different sort of issue that is also very important. Since the Network’s creation, it has participated in human rights symposia at the Royal Society of Canada and at the Turkish Academy of Sciences. Wiesel suggested that the Network consider doing more in this area, as well as perhaps sending teams from various academies in the Network to different countries to promote human rights education in areas of particular concern to the Network.

Human Rights and Human Responsibility

There was considerable discussion of the words that could best describe the Network’s human rights vision and what such words imply. For example, one participant took issue with van Dijk’s statement that human rights includes responsibilities. “To me, they are completely different, and I really would urge you to [consider] putting responsibility somewhere near the top of the list, because the difference between the two is profound. A right is something that is to my advantage. A responsibility, in a sense, is the opposite. It is something I have to do, some duty that is imposed upon me.”

Another participant mentioned a recent debate in Europe about duties and rights and said that duties were viewed negatively. He expressed strong support for the argument made by van Dijk that human rights includes human duties. Another participant reminded the members that the words “human rights” are those used in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. “I think we should continue to use [the term] human rights, and that is all. It is short, it is clear, and everybody understands what it means. I do not think we add anything by introducing new words.”

Khageswar Pradhan (Indian Academy of Agricultural Sciences) said that in his country there are both duties and responsibilities. He asked, “If there is a population whose number is increasing in the country, whose duty or responsibility is it, the child’s or the parents? That is the debate when you are talking responsibility and duties and rights. Who is responsible, whose duty is that?”

Another participant argued that the concepts of responsibility and duty are not the same. Rights have a connection with duty as well as with responsibility, and these relations are different, he said. “Rights and duty are correlation concepts, as up and down, in and out. Meanwhile, we use many concepts that

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement