29 May 2010

Cetaceans have rights

On May 21st and 22nd, the University of Helsinki (Finland) hosted a conference titled “Cetacean rights: conference on fostering moral and legal change”.

The conference - enriched by the presence of cetacean experts such as Hal Whitehead and Lori Marino - ended up with the ‘Declaration of rights for cetaceans: whales and dolphins” where it is stated:

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 a growing sense of entitlement by cetaceans;

We affirm that all cetaceans as persons have the right to life, liberty and wellbeing. 

We believe 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.

Sign the 'Cetacean Rights Declaration' and join a global call to have rights formally declared for cetaceans.

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