World Declaration on Great Apes Rights

The right to life, the protection of individual liberty and the prohibition of torture are proposed by the Great Ape Project as minimum conditions in the relationship between men and great apes. We propose to extend the granting of rights on an equal basis to all hominids/great apes: humans, chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans. The principles that guide the declaration are:

1. Right to life

The lives of all great apes must be protected. Its members cannot be killed except in strictly defined circumstances, such as self-defense.

2. Protection of individual liberty

Great apes cannot be arbitrarily deprived of their freedom. They have the right to live freely in their habitat. The great primates that already live in captivity have the right to live with dignity, in spacious places, live with their own kind, form families and be protected from commercial exploitation.

3. Prohibition of Torture

The deliberate infliction of intense pain, physical or psychic, on a great ape, for no reason or for the supposed benefit of others, is considered torture and is an offense from which they must be protected.