Suspension of many civil rights and violations of international accords are characteristic of declared and undeclared wartime conditions, during which captured enemy forces, citizens of occupied countries or political prisoners may be used for scientific and unscientific experimentation.
The physician Celsus of the first century AD approved the vivisection of condemned criminals by his Egyptian predecessors, Heoophilus and Erasistratus. His defence was that the suffering of the few is justified by the benefit of the multitude. By the late 1930s, the professional clinical investigator was established on the medical scene and research had become an integral part of hospital practice in the UK and the US. During World War II, Nazi Germany conducted infamous experiments in the concentration camps. During the Korean War and recently in Northern Ireland, medical-psychological experimentation has been reported as an aspect of torture.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.