Ethics in Physical Anthropology

This section promotes the ethical conduct of research by CAPA-ACAP members specifically, and physical anthropologists in general. The CAPA-ACAP Code of Ethics was developed by the Ethics Subcommittee formed during the 42nd CAPA-ACAP Annual Meeting (Fredericton, 2014) and was unamimously endorsed during the 43rd Annual Meeting (Winnipeg, 2015). The official CAPA-ACAP Code of Ethics is found below, along with links to the ethical guidelines from other relevant associations and socities. 

CAPA-ACAP Code of Ethics (Revised January 2019)

CAPA-ACAP Code of Ethics (October 2015)


Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. 2014. Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans. Ottawa: Interagency Secretariat on Research Ethics.

Cybulski, J. S., N. S. Ossenberg, and W. D. Wade. 1979. Committee Report: Statement on the excavation, treatment, analysis and disposition of human skeletal remains from archaeological sites in Canada. Canadian Review of Physical Anthropology 1(1):32-36. 

Buikstra J. E. 2006. Repatriation and bioarchaeology: Challenges and opportunities. In: Bioarchaeology: The Contextual Analysis of Human Remains, Buikstra, J. E., Beck, L. A. (eds). Burlington, MA: Academic Press, pp. 389-412.



American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Code of Ethics and Conduct.

American Anthropological Association. 1998. Code of Ethics. 

American Association of Physical Anthropologists. 2003. Code of Ethics of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists.

Animal Behaviour Society. 2012. Guidelines for the treatment of animals in behavioural research and teaching. Animal Behaviour 83:301-309.

Animal Behavior Society. 1991. Guidelines for the use of animals in research. Animal Behavior 41(1):183-186.

Archaeological Institute of America. 1994. Code of Professional Standards. (Supplements and expands but does not replace the earlier Code of Ethics)

Archaeological Institute of America. 1991. Code of Ethics. American Journal of Archaeology 95(2):285.

Canadian Archaeological Association. Principles of Ethical Conduct.

International Primatological Society. Principles for the Ethical Treatment of Non-Human Primates.

International Primatological Society. 2014, Code of Best Practices for Field Primatology

National Academy of Sciences. 1995 On Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct in Research. 2nd edition. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

National Association for the Practice of Anthropology. Ethical Guidelines.

National Association for the Practice of Anthropology. 1992. Statement on the Use of Animals in Research. American Scientist 80(1):73-76.

Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (25 U.S. Code 3001 et seq). 1990. Washington, D. C.: National Park Service, US Department of the Interior.

Society for American Archaeology. 1996. Principles of Archaeological Ethics.

Society for Applied Anthropology. Statement of Ethics and Professional Responsibilities.

United Nations. 1979. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

United Nations. 1948. Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

World Archaeology Congress. 1990. First Code of Ethics.


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