Biosafety and Health (Dec 2022)

Genome editing and human rights: Implications of the UNGPs

  • Leifan Wang,
  • Xiaohui Liang,
  • Weiwen Zhang

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 4, no. 6
pp. 386 – 391


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How to address the impact of genome editing on human rights is a global challenge. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently developed a governance framework for human genome editing to provide global recommendations for establishing appropriate governance mechanisms for human genome editing. This article suggests that a human rights-respecting approach should be explicitly recognized in the framework and other relevant endeavors. Such recognition has significant implications not only on clarifying the duty of States but also on the responsibility of non-State actors, particularly biotech enterprises, to orient this technology towards respect for human rights. To implement this approach, the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) provide helpful guidance for States, biotech enterprises, and other stakeholders to raise awareness and enhance responsible practices in the field.