In 2002 The Academy joined the Danish Scientific Academia National Committee for Human Rights with the aim of providing active support to researchers worldwide whose basic human rights are being violated.

The committee is part of the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies, which includes a large number of academies from around the globe. The network's international secretariat, headed by director Carol Corillon, has offices at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington DC.

The Danish National Committee consists of:

• Ida Nicolaisen, Senior Reseacher, appointed by the Academy

  • • Professor Vagn Hansen, appointed by the Academy
    • Professor Bente Klarlund Pedersen, appointed by the Academy of Technical Sciences
    • Professor Morten Kielland-Brandt, appointed by the Academy
  • • Professor Birger Lindberg Møller, appointed by the Academy

Ida Nicolaisen has been a member of the international network's Executive Committee since 2007.

The Committee examines and lodges protests in response to gross violations of researchers' freedom of expression around the world. In this, they are helped by the delivery of materials and 'Action Alerts' from the International Secretariat in Washington. It is encouraging that several of the scientists whose cases the committee have supported have been released from prison or seen an improvement in their living conditions. However, many of our colleagues are still imprisoned around the world and there is a tremendous need for international attention to secure more releases and improve conditions.

The Committee therefore calls on the Academy's members to do as many other academies do, and personally support the work by writing appeals to the relevant authorities in support of persecuted colleagues.

Information on current 'Action Alerts' is available at The International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies. For a Password for this please contact the Academy.