Acquiring rights for animals Upholding animals' legal rights
Developing human legislation in the form of clear-cut and unequivocal laws which guarantee conservation of nature and animal species and prevent destruction and torture of animals and plants; obtain legal status for animal and plant populations. Uphold animals' legal rights by denouncing and condemning offences against such rights.
Aristotle refers to human slaves as "animated property". The phrase exactly describes the current status of non-human animals. At the root of the master's power over the slave is the fact that the slave is not acknowledged by the community. Most political action on behalf of animals today focuses on abolishing abhorrent practices and forms of treatment. But the history of slavery shows that this type of approach had only a marginal impact. In antiquity there was one way to leave the no man's land of the slave: manumission. The term, which means literally "to emit or release from one's hand", conveys the sense of giving up control over something. Just as manumission was the only way out for slaves, so it appears to be the kind of response needed for animals. Not only does it address the question of status, it is also a long-standing and well-known instrument for the bestowal of freedom on those who cannot win it for themselves.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.