TRUST Conference on “Ethics Dumping: Looking for Justice”, 29th June 2018


Achieving equity in international research is one of the pressing concerns of the 21st century. “Ethics dumping” or the application of double standards in research involves the export of non-ethical research practices to low- and middle- income countries. Addressing this challenge is a highly timely and urgent requirement to ensure equitable international research relations.

Many international groups and organisations are working on governance frameworks and standards to guide research activities, especially with increasing globalization. However, their efforts are disparate and lacking a guiding vision. The goal of the “Ethics Dumping” event is to catalyse a global collaborative effort to improve adherence to high ethical standards around the world. The guiding vision embraces the values of fairness/justice, honesty, respect and care, in an effort to create mutual trust.

Avoiding double standards in research is a prerequisite for supporting the biggest justice effort of our generation, achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) that rely on science, technology and innovation.

Prof. Jeffrey Sachs will provide a keynote address on the link between inclusive development, justice and the SDGs. The importance of fairness in international research will be emphasized in a recorded message from Irina Bokova, the former Director General of UNESCO (tbc).

Please find the Agenda here

Avoiding “ethics dumping” is also a prerequisite for the success of programs such as Horizon 2020. A Global Code of Conduct for Research in Resource-Poor Settings, a Fair Research Contracting Toolbox and Recommendations for Ethics-compliance will be distributed at the event. The tools were co-created with vulnerable populations promoting the values of fairness, honesty, respect and care. Indigenous leaders from the Kalahari and a spokeswoman for sex workers from Nairobi will speak at the event. The event is relevant to all policy makers working on inclusion and justice issues in international development as well as all departments that fund research. Outcomes of the event can contribute to improving equitable research and development cooperation, with particular emphasis on capacity-building and benefit-sharing.