Public Seminar: Oil Spills in the Niger Delta


There have been thousands of oil spills in the Niger Delta -- hundreds every year. They have caused significant environmental damage and consequent impact on the people that live there.

Oil spills have destroyed local fishing, farming and other livelihoods, have caused serious human health problems, and have even resulted in deaths, particularly of local activists opposed to the oil activities. The Niger Delta example illustrates the direct link between environmental degradation and human rights abuses.

The relevant oil companies have claimed that most oil spills are caused by local sabotage and theft. There have thus been many investigations into these oil spills, particularly by the oil companies concerned. Amnesty International conducted an independent investigation into these investigations and recently reported on their findings: Bad information: Oil spill investigations in the Niger Delta (Nov 2013).

This seminar will discuss the situation in the Niger Delta and some of the existing and alternative mechanisms for addressing the various abuses involved.


Grant Bayldon (Executive Director of Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand), speaking on the situation in the Niger Delta, as discussed in the Amnesty International report, and on Amnesty's Environmental Defenders Network (EDeN).

Petra Butler (Ass. Prof, VUW Law School), speaking on the UN Global Compact on corporate social responsibility and the use of private law to enforce human rights standards.
Ngozi Stewart (PhD, Lecturer in Law at the University of Benin, Nigeria), speaking on Greening the Nigerian Constitution and its effect on the Environmental Degradation in Nigeria's Niger Delta Region.

Chaired by Diana Shand, International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Location: OGB LT1, Victoria University Law School, Old Government Buildings, 55 Lambton Quay, Wellington

Date: Thursday, February 13, OGB LT1, VUW Law School

Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m


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