Speaks Science, She Speaks Human Rights:
At the fifth AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition meeting on January 11,
2011 Global Rights’ Natural Resources and Human Rights Initiative Director,
Maria Koulouris, discussed her experience working alongside geochemist Mark
Logsdon to document economic and social rights (ESR) violations linked to the
extraction of gold in the Republic of Guinea. Maria and her local partner Centre
du Commence International pour le Développement (CECIDE) called on Mark to assess
the way in which the mining operation was affecting lives of local residents,
including their basic rights to clean water and food.
technical support, the collected information will be used by CECIDE to produce
a comprehensive human rights report documenting economic and social rights violations
linked to gold exploitation. CECIDE will also use the report to push both Government officials and the mining company to demand that adequate measures be taken to ensure that the rights of local populations not be violated in the context of mining.
The relationship between science and human rights is often ignored or not understood. However, as seen in this case, a geochemist’s knowledge and skills is not only strengthening Global Rights’ work, but also gives local Guinean organizations and local communities the power to advocate for their own rights.
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