Discussion Report 20 Vijaya Venkataraman- Knowledge as a Right

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Title of Session

Knowledge as a Right


Vijaya Venkataraman


Marc, Jane, Sabrina, Dorine, Kate, Juliette, Anne, Nadia , Jess and Vijaya

Key Discussion Points

We tried to navigate the terrain of knowledge as a right and looked at its various dimensions:

  • People's right to access and use information and knowledge -disclosure mechanisms to strengthen accountability and transparency
  • People's right to protect their knowledge esp indigenous and traditional knowledge - legal instruments to protect against exploitation eg biopiracy
  • Mechanisms for benefit sharing of such knowledge
  • Accountability issues in knowledge generation - extractive vs participatory method
  • Knowledge as a right anchored in the larger group of human rights e.g livelihoods, access to basic services
  • Right to knowledge seems to be a negotiated process
  • Promoting right to knowledge can start with one self, one's organization , empowering ones constituency and then the larger context progressively
  • Tools, techniques and legal instruments including international conventions to promote knowledge as a right - both for access/ use and protection