Skip to main content

Statement of Support for the Recognition of the Human Rights of Scientists and Engineers

OSA supports the civil liberties and human rights of all scientists and engineers and declares its support for the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To achieve its full potential and to benefit all mankind, scientific progress needs governments to respect basic human rights in order to allow the exchange of scientific information unless otherwise restricted, and to avoid interference with the human rights of scientists and engineers as they carry out their professional work.  

All scientists and engineers should be able to live without restraint and be free from torture and persecution. They should be able to work or study lawfully in any country. No scientist or engineer should be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention, persecution or exile for conducting their work responsibly according to established laws. OSA calls for judicial procedures by governments in which the rights of scientists and engineers to defend themselves against accusations are not curtailed when they are engaged in the legitimate execution of their research and development work.
OSA supports free communication and exchange of ideas and information among scientists and engineers to foster scientific progress, which is dependent on their collaborative efforts. It is through such access that international scientific cooperation occurs. OSA objects to politically-based restrictions on the travel of scientists and engineers. OSA urges all governments to issue entrance and exit visas in a timely manner to scientists and engineers attending international scientific conferences and other international scientific activities.
OSA will collectively cooperate with the optics and photonics community in support of the human and professional rights of scientists and engineers in all countries. OSA encourages scientists and engineers to take conscientious and responsible action to protect their rights and to further international scientific cooperation and exchange. OSA proactively fosters open exchange among scientists and engineers through its many conferences and meetings worldwide.