Atoms for human rights

Ever wondered how peaceful use of atoms can be used for human right? On the Human Rights Day 2020, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) highlighted some key benefits of nuclear science related to human rights: the right to an adequate standard of living, the right to benefit from scientific progress and the right to the highest-attainable standard of health. 

IAEA’s statutory mission: “accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world.” 

The agency emphasized the utilization of nuclear science for treatment of cancer, bolster food safety, strengthen water management, protect fruits from pests, combat zoonotic diseases and most importantly to help countries mitigate climate change. Every year, the IAEA supports the training of several scientists and specialists to utilize isotopic techniques to: 

  • Check the origin and quality of fresh water 
  • Develop heat-resistant varieties of tomatoes 
  • Ensure the accurate radiation dose to a patient to remove a tumour 

The concept of zero hunger to life and several other Sustainable Development Goals can be attained by effective contribution of Nuclear science and technology, which will continue to grow as various nation seek to address the big challenges of our time. 

While addressing the issues of ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the IAEA mentioned to have delivered more than 1,873 consignments of nuclear-derived PCR testing equipment to 127 countries and territories, as part of Zoonotic Disease Integrated Action (ZODIAC) initiative. 

Another major current threat to humanity is Climate change whereby a reliable source of low-carbon electricity like nuclear energy can a play indispensable part of the solution. IAEA can be very assistive to address the post-pandemic economic uncertainties and for attaining Sustainable Development Goals. Also, IAEA can provide nations with various tools to effectively utilize Nuclear science and technology to safeguard people’s basic rights to safe food, water, adequate health care, energy and the benefits of scientific progress. 

Read the full article on IAEA website: https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/human-rights-day-how-nuclear-science-helps-countries-guarantee-basic-rights-to-water-food-and-health 

Published by Siddharth Sinha

Nuclear engineer. Engaged in the domain of risk perception and communication towards Nuclear power plants in India

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