Human Rights and Gold Mining: Bringing lessons from PNG to Haiti

June 20, 2013, 5:00pm - 7:00pm

Furman Hall, 210
245 Sullivan Street
New York

What: Panel discussion on “Human Rights and Gold Mining: Bringing Lessons from PNG to Haiti”

Where: Furman Hall room 210, 245 Sullivan Street

When: 5-7 PM, Thursday June 20th 

The event will be followed by a brief reception. Valid ID is required for entry. Please RSVP to Opgenhaffen@exchange.law.nyu.edu 

Join us for a very special panel discussion with activists and human rights experts from two different contexts impacted by the gold mining industry, Papua New Guinea and Haiti. Panelists will discuss some of the following questions:

  • What are the challenges to communities defending their interests in the presence of extractive industries, specifically mining companies?
  • “Best practices” in gold mining — is there such a thing?  Is it possible to mine for gold while respecting human rights and protecting the environment?  
  • What does it mean for communities to be “informed” about extractive industry projects?  Where does the concept of free, prior and informed consent stand in international law today?
  • How can American attorneys best support attorneys and activists in countries where US companies are exploring and extracting gold?  

Moderator:

Margaret Satterthwaite, Faculty Director (CHRGJ) and Professor of Clinical Law, Global Justice Clinic

Panelists:

Patrice Florvilus is a human rights attorney working in Haiti.  He is the founder and director of Defenseurs des Oprimées/Oprimés (DOP), a legal service and advocacy organization that accompanies Haitian social movements, in particular organized groups of internally displaced people (IDPs), victims of sexual violence, peasant organizations, victims of cholera, unions and labor rights organizations, student groups, and sexual minorities in their efforts to seek justice.  DOP also runs a human rights school for activists, conducts trainings with grassroots organizations all over Haiti, and assists law students with the studies/theses required to become a lawyer in Haiti.  DOP is a member of the Mining Justice Collective.  Patrice was born in Jean Rabel in northwest Haiti.

Ellie Happel is a 2011 graduate of NYU Law School where she was a Root Tilden Kern scholar.  Upon graduating Ellie received the Arthur Helton Human Rights fellowship and spent one year in Port-au-Prince, where she worked on the cholera case against the United Nations and collaborated with DOP on cases of forced eviction in the internally displaced people (IDP) camps.  Ellie left Haiti to join President Obama’s reelection campaign in Miami-Dade County, where she was the Deputy Voter Protection Director.  In January Ellie returned to Port-au-Prince to assist Professor Meg Satterthwaite and the Global Justice Clinic launch a project on mining and human rights.  Ellie worked closely with the Mining Justice Collective and with communities in northern Haiti affected by mining activity.

Eleanor Jenkin is a recent graduate of NYU School of Law’s LLM program, where she studied human rights and took part in the Global Justice Clinic’s project on Papua New Guinea, where for a number of years it has been involved with the local community affected by a large-scale resource extraction project. The Center’s work there has touched on the environmental, health and security impacts of the project, and recently has focused on securing acknowledgement and redress for women who have been subjected to sexual violence by security personnel. Eleanor is currently a CHRGJ research scholar and was one of the two 2013 Helton Fellowship Recipients.