Protection of traditional knowledge and human rights obligations: The status of discussion in international organisations
Razzaque, J. and Ssenyonjo, M. (2007) Protection of traditional knowledge and human rights obligations: The status of discussion in international organisations. Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, 25 (3). pp. 401-436. ISSN 0924-0519
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Traditional knowledge and human rights are two fields that have largely developed separately despite being interrelated. A number of international institutions are pursuing different priorities related to the protection of traditional knowledge. The underlying theme of all these discussions could be linked to various human rights obligations. Despite this reality, in the discussions on the protection and the use of traditional knowledge within the World Trade Organisation, the Convention of Biological Diversity, and the World Intellectual Property Organisation, the human rights dimension is often sidelined. The main purpose of this article is to examine the status of the ongoing discussion on the protection of traditional knowledge including the level of coordination among these international processes. The article argues that it is crucial to integrate human rights dimensions in the discussion of traditional knowledge in other international fora.