NIGERIA: COMMUNIQUE OF A TWO-DAY REVIEW AND VALIDATION WORKSHOP AND MOVEMENT BUILDING PROCESS HELD AT GOLDEN TULIP HOTELS GRA II PORT HARCOURT, DECEMBER 20 – 21, 2022

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Introduction

Natural Justice organized a two-day workshop to review and validate the scoping report on “The state of human rights and the situation of human and environmental rights defenders in Nigeria from December 20 to 21, 2022 at Golden Tulip Hotel GRA II Port Harcourt.  The workshop drew participants from local communities, Non-Governmental Organizations and Social Movements across Nigeria, the academia, community-based organizations, the media, the Nigerian Bar Association, International Federation of women Lawyers, women, youths, and representatives of persons with disabilities.

The key objectives of the workshop are Review and validation of the Scoping Report on the State of Human Rights and environmental rights defenders in Nigeria and initiate a Natural Justice mediated Climate Justice Movement in Nigeria. The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Rivers state, Prof. Adangor Zacchaeus (SAN) represented by his Special adviser, Success Gilbert Esq, presented a solidarity message.

Participants observed that

  1. There is a profusion of constitutional and legal policy frameworks on human rights and protection for environmental right defenders in Nigeria, the capacity to implement them by policy institutions and justice delivery system is however, severely limited.
  2. Courts in Nigeria have created a clear pathway for enhanced protection of human and environmental rights and rights defenders. It is now the responsibility Lawyers, communities, and CSOs to build on and expand these rights via legal empowerment and active public interest litigation.
  3. The long delays and lack of faith in our justice delivery system has forced communities and individuals to resort to foreign jurisdictions to seek justice.     
  4. The climate crisis is intensifying, and our communities are on the frontlines of this crisis. we must all act together to prevent the destruction of our lives and livelihoods

Resolutions

  • The proposal by Natural Justice for the setting up of a strong, inclusive climate justice movement in Nigeria is adopted by general acclaim of all participants present and this Natural Justice mediated platform will coordinate the implementation of the plans and outcomes agreed on during this workshop.
  • That the movement works together to lobby government to establish specialized courts for environmental offences to enable quick dispensation of justice
  • That a database detailing any violation or persecutions of human and environmental rights defenders in Nigeria be set up coordinated by the movement and connected to the National Human Rights Commission
  • That this movement should reach out to other social and climate justice movements across Nigeria to build a stronger and inclusive movement for just transition.

24 December 2022

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