February 29, 2012

The Helsinki Group's Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans

Following their 2010 conference on Cetacean Rights, the Helsinki Group put together a Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans (which includes all whales, dolphins, and porpoises). Their ten point declaration goes like this:

Based on the principle of the equal treatment of all persons; Recognizing that scientific research gives us deeper insights into the complexities of cetacean minds, societies and cultures; Noting that the progressive development of international law manifests an entitlement to life by cetaceans; We affirm that all cetaceans as persons have the right to life, liberty and wellbeing. We conclude that:
  1. Every individual cetacean has the right to life.
  2. No cetacean should be held in captivity or servitude; be subject to cruel treatment; or be removed from their natural environment.
  3. All cetaceans have the right to freedom of movement and residence within their natural environment.
  4. No cetacean is the property of any State, corporation, human group or individual.
  5. Cetaceans have the right to the protection of their natural environment.
  6. Cetaceans have the right not to be subject to the disruption of their cultures.
  7. The rights, freedoms and norms set forth in this Declaration should be protected under international and domestic law.
  8. Cetaceans are entitled to an international order in which these rights, freedoms and norms can be fully realized.
  9. No State, corporation, human group or individual should engage in any activity that undermines these rights, freedoms and norms.
  10. Nothing in this Declaration shall prevent a State from enacting stricter provisions for the protection of cetacean rights.
Excellent. Now all we need to do is include all the great apes and elephants.

You can formalize your support of the Helsinki Declaration here.


Iain Dwyer said...

I'm interested in this, but I wonder if you could recommend anything more detailed about why it's something I should support.

I can see some arguments for it, but I'm still undecided. For example, whales don't seem to be able to demand rights.

George said...

Read this: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/21/whales-dolphins-legal-rights for more info.