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Big Oil, human rights and sustainable development in Africa - Implications of SERAP vs. Federal Republic of Nigeria (ECOWAS Court) 2012

Author: Olivia Kokushubila Lwabukuna, Pambazuka News, Published on: 20 February 2013

This case represents a novel attempt by a regional tribunal to indirectly ensure that businesses carried out in Africa are socially conscious and responsible…With numerous recent mineral, oil and gas discoveries in various areas in Africa, it has become imperative that strict measures must be undertaken by governments and the necessary agencies to protect the well being of communities where extraction takes place. At the same time, this calls for the extraction industry to take responsibility for the communities within which they operate. The ECOWAS court seems to have taken a bold step in guaranteeing that where governments by omission fail to ensure compliance with international best practices…, then they bear the responsibility for harm and human rights violations resulting from actions of corporations. [Refers to Nigerian National Petroleum Company, Shell, ELF (part of Total), AGIP (part of Eni), Chevron & ExxonMobil]

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Related companies: AGIP (part of Eni) Chevron Elf Aquitaine (now part of Total) Eni ExxonMobil Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Shell Total