Delegate for Human Rights

In order to promote human rights in science, the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences instated a Delegate for Human Rights. Since 2013, this function is exercised by Samantha Besson, a Full Professor of Public International Law and European Law at the University of Fribourg and Co-Director of the European Law Institute of the Universities of Bern, Fribourg and Neuchâtel.

The Delegate's tasks include, among others:
  • Securing respect for the human rights of researchers in their scientific activities;
  • Providing information and taking measures related to human rights violations concerning scientists worldwide;
  • Promoting knowledge regarding the significance and function of human rights for scientists.
The Delegate cooperates and develops joint activities at the bilateral and multilateral level. At the national level, this includes in particular the Swiss Centre of Expertise in Human Rights (SCHR) and the Human Security Division of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. Internationally, her work is channelled through membership in the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies (IHRN) and she seeks to develop bilateral contacts with relevant entities of national academies of sciences abroad.

Contact: Dr Roger Pfister, Head International Cooperation

International conference "The Human Right to Science: New Directions for Human Rights in Sciece"
Bern, Switzerland, 22 May 2015


Members of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences

Centres of Excellence

Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences
Haus der Akademien
Laupenstrasse 7
CH-3001 Bern

Phone +41 (0)31 306 92 20