The right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications is a fundamental human right and one of the central pillars of TAG’s advocacy to promote TB research and access to its benefits. The right is enshrined in Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and further articulated in Article 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). On October 9, 2018, TAG participated in a day of general discussion on the right to science hosted by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR). The CESCR monitors the implementation of the ICESCR and is in the process of drafting a General Comment on the right to science, which will provide guidance to the states on the normative content of the right and the corresponding obligations of states to uphold the right. TAG’s contribution to the CESCR focused on three issues:
1. The relevance of the right to science in the context of health, and in particular for the fights against TB, HIV, and hepatitis C.
2. The importance of recognizing access as a cornerstone of the right, and what this means for corresponding state obligations to conserve, develop, and diffuse science.
3. The importance of participation for science, especially the participation of affected communities.
TAG will continue to monitor the development of the General Comment and raise awareness of the right among TB-affected communities and civil society.