Advancing International Cooperation on Neurotechnology to Enhance Human Rights Protection, Manage Societal Externalities and Mitigate the Risk of Conflict

What are the elements of the emerging legal architecture concerning neurotechnology and human rights?

Project Summary

The field of neurotechnology, once limited to tightly regulated medical research in developed countries, has undergone significant changes. Advancements in brain mapping tools and machine learning have fostered applications beyond medicine, reaching the entertainment and lifestyle sectors. This shift has been accompanied by the involvement of private corporations, raising concerns about its potential misuse and the need for appropriate legal regulations.

To address such challenges, this project has gathered experts from the ethics, technology, human rights, conflict resolution, and social economics fields. Their unique research approach is to employ content and legal analysis, exploratory and participatory research, as well as issue – mapping, to tackle the knowledge barriers between different sectors, the limited regulatory responses to neurotechnology applications, and the insufficient understanding of its societaland human-rights implications.

The project’s ultimate objective is to provide actionable information through the development of soft law guidelines, targeted at policymakers engaged in multilateral rights processes, as well as the corporate sector and tech community. In doing so, the project seeks to establish a legal and policy framework for neurotechnology that is protective of human rights worldwide.

Research Team


Erica Harper
Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Alexandre Pouget
University of Geneva



Milena Costas
Principal Member
UN Human Rights Council’s Advisory Committee

Jonathan Andrew
Principal Member

IT Flows


Timo Istace
Principal Member
University of Antwerp