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Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Generic Risks of Exporting Non-Ethical Practices0

Posted by Admin in on January 5, 2017

Executive Summary
The potential to be exploited is part of the human condition. Even superheroes usually have an Achilles’ heel, or vulnerability. Take for instance, Superman, whose vulnerability is kryptonite.

Exploiters take advantage of others’ vulnerabilities to promote their own interests. Whilst there is a morally neutral sense of exploitation (the exploitation of natural talents to create art, for example), the term is generally used to describe a moral failing.

Exploiting others is morally wrong.

This report is about the risks for exploitation for defined entities, in other words, ‘Achilles’ heels’ in research. What makes exploitation more likely to occur due to vulnerabilities that can be exploited, either knowingly or unknowingly?

After careful analysis of the relevant literature and case studies, as well as consultation withleading ethics committee chairs and representatives of vulnerable populations from low and middle income countries (LMICs), an exploitation risk table was produced. Risks were categorized according to the points at which vulnerability occurred, and were grouped according to four values which have to be present to avoid exploitation in North-South collaborations: fairness, respect, care and honesty. Trustworthiness is achieved when all four values are realized.

Kate Chatfield, Doris Schroeder, Klaus Leisinger, Jaci van Niekerk, Ngayo Munuo, Rachel Wynberg and Paul Woodgate (2016) Generic Risks of Exporting Non-Ethical Practices, a report for TRUST

TRUST – Protecting San Indigenous Knowledge – From A Research Contract to a San Code of Ethics0

Posted by Admin in on January 3, 2017


The fascinating video should be watched in full screen so it is easier to read the translations

The Bushmen/San of South Africa are one of the most researched communities in the world. They hold valuable traditional knowledge and their genetic traits are of great interest to researchers. To protect themselves from exploitation, they took the initiative and developed a media contract and a research contract in 2003. When film makers or researchers engage with the community, they are meant to go through the community structures (e.g. the San Council) to get approval for their activities. To protect themselves further, the San are currently in the process of developing a Code of Ethics for Researchers, supported by the TRUST project. This film captures the views of some leading San representatives on their efforts to protect the community from exploitation.

Ethics in Indigenous Research: Past Experiences – Future Challenges (Books: Anna-Lill Drugge (ed.) | 2016)0

Posted by Admin in on December 27, 2016

Ethics in research related to Indigenous peoples has, over recent decades, been increasingly discussed in a global context. Decolonizing theories and methods have gained legitimacy and prestige, and Indigenous scholarship has challenged mainstream research by adding novel perspectives and critical standpoints that encourage researchers of all origins to reflect upon their own positions within the colonial academic and social structures in which they work. This development has taken different directions and occurred at different speeds depending on local, regional and national settings. In a Swedish Sami research context, we are now in a time when it is clear that things are moving and discussions on research ethics are taking place on a more regular basis. This publication is one example of that. In Sweden, it is the first one in English that addresses ethics in Sami and indigenous research and this will, hopefully, facilitate collaborations, comparisons and discussions on an international scale.

The book is based on some of the contributions to the international workshop Ethics in Indigenous Research, Past Experiences – Future Challenges that was held in Umeå in March 2014. The workshop gathered together around fifty scholars from different parts of Sápmi and abroad, and aimed to move forward Indigenous research ethics in Sweden by highlighting and addressing research ethics related to the Sami and Indigenous research field. It is hoped that this book will serve as an inspiration, a critique, and an illustration of where discussions are heading in a Nordic, and more specifically, Swedish context. It is intended to function as a foundation for future ethical discussions at different levels, in national and international settings both within and outside academia.

Samiska studier, ISSN 1651-5153 ; 7
Keyword [en] Ethics, Indigenous, Sami, Indigenous methodologies, Research ethics

Drugge, A-L (ed.) (2016) Ethics in Indigenous Research: Past Experiences – Future Challenges. Umeå: Vaartoe – Centre for Sami Research
Publisher (open access):

500+ Resources – Part Three of Nominations of best resources0

Posted by Admin in on December 12, 2016

This third nomination of favourite resources is from one of the AHRECS  senior consultants Associate Professor Martin Tolich. This week we’re going to be sharing some more nominations of people’s nomination of favourite resources? Got your own favourite? Drop us a line to with your suggestion.

Extremism is a research ethics minefield | AHRECS Resource Library entry

Researchers work through sensitive topics when researching children and death thinking they have advanced along the continuum reaching the third untouchable rail. In the United States Social Security is the untouchable third rail that politicians will not touch. In Canada no government dares to touch health care. In research ethic committees their third rail is death. Their resistance to permitting researchers to engage the bereaved in research, working from the self-fulfilling prophecy that any study investigating the vulnerability of the bereaved is undermined by the participants’ acute vulnerability. What the Norwegian article demonstrates is there are other third rails along the continuum. In Extremism is a research ethics minefield” the resource expands what there is to know about research ethics.