The observatory is a system of databases with worldwide coverage in bioethics and other areas of applied ethics in science and technology such as environmental ethics, science ethics, and technology ethics. Its official launch occurred on December 15, 2005 at the International Bioethics Committee (IBC) Meeting in Tokyo, Japan.
This UNESCO initiative is freely accessible online. The Observatory is designed to serve as a reference, collaborative, consultative, and comparative resource hub of ethics activities around the world. The observatory is also intended to become a platform for supporting and advancing ethics activities by assisting Member States and other interested parties to identify experts, establish ethics committees, construct informed policies in the area of ethics, and design ethics teaching curricula.
The Observatory includes four major databases:
* Who’s Who in Ethics,
* Ethics Institutions,
* Ethics Teaching Programs, and
* Ethics Related Legislation and Guidelines.