CEHRD Proposes New Wave of Reparations in Niger Delta

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The Centre for Environment Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) has proposed a series of reparation and remedies for Ogoniland following the Federal Government’s implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) ‘clean-up’ report. CEHRD has outlined this proposal in a report titled: “Reparation beyond UNEP.”

Below is a report published in The Tide:

The centre said that its proposal was based on the context of human rights as propounded by the United Nations in its basic principles and guidelines on reparation and remedies.

“Whilst the UNEP report represents a huge leap forward in the understanding the role of oil pollution in one area of the Niger Delta and makes significant recommendations for restoring the environment to its past state, it is incomplete if considered in the context of human rights according to the UN’s basic principles and guidelines on reparation and remedies” it said.

Some of the reparation programmes proposed by the centre include: restitution - which involves restoring the victims to the original situation before the gross violations of international human rights law or serious violations of international humanitarian law occurred - as well as compensation for economically assessable damage as appropriate and proportional to the gravity of the violation.
Also recommended is rehabilitation involving medical, psychological, legal and social services for victims’ satisfaction. This includes cessation of violations, public apology, judicial and administrative sanctions against perpetrators as well as guarantee of non-repetition.

Measures also recommended are: political control of Ogoni affairs by Ogoni people, the right to the control and use of a fair proportion of Ogoni economic resources for Ogoni development.

Speaking on the proposals, the Programme Director of the Centre for Human Rights and Development (CEHRD), Mr. Steve Obodokwe, said that the remedy and reparations outlined are a part of international law whereas the UNEP report only deals with the rehabilitation aspect of the issue. Mr. Obodokwe said that the organisation will continue to fight for improvements in the conditions of oil polluted communities in the Niger Delta.

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