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Appears in Collections:History and Politics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Transforming our world? Strengthening animal rights and animal welfare at the United Nations
Author(s): Schapper, Andrea
Bliss, Cebuan
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Keywords: animal rights
animal welfare
sustainable development
transformative change
United Nations
Issue Date: Sep-2023
Date Deposited: 25-Jan-2024
Citation: Schapper A & Bliss C (2023) Transforming our world? Strengthening animal rights and animal welfare at the United Nations. <i>International Relations</i>, 37 (3), pp. 514-537.
Abstract: In this article, we argue that animal rights and welfare are largely neglected at the United Nations (UN) and in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The UN Sustainability Agenda is not transformative because it lacks a serious (re-)consideration of the relationship between human beings, non-human animals and other components of nature. We propose four ways to strengthen animal rights and animal welfare at the UN: (1) we suggest creating a UN organisation working on animal protection, (2) we support earlier ideas to include an additional SDG on animal welfare in the UN Sustainability Agenda, (3) we propose to strengthen animals rights within the rights of nature framework using the UN as a forum to advance non-anthropocentric norms, (4) we recommend introducing procedural rights for animals in projects linked to SDG funding. Our research is based on an integrative literature review and a document analysis of UN documents, declarations and resolutions.
DOI Link: 10.1177/0047117823119329
Rights: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
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