About: CHRGJ and LSHR’s Human Rights Defenders Series is proud to present a close colleague and partner of the Global Justice Clinic, Nixon Boumba, a Haitian human rights activist and member of the Kolektif Jistis Min nan Ayiti (Haiti Mining Justice Collective). Boumba has been working in mining-affected areas of Haiti to ensure that local people understand their rights in regard to the extractives industry. Besides his work on mining, Boumba is also a supporter of economic and cultural rights in Haiti, a staunch advocate on behalf of all marginalized and oppressed populations in Haiti, and a leading figure calling for vigilance and justice in Haiti’s current development climate, which is marked by notoriously low wages and controversial efforts to create industrial and tourist zones.

In his talk, Boumba will discuss the challenges inherent to being a human rights defender in a country where human rights advocates are increasingly being persecuted for their work. He will also discuss the specific tools and tactics available to advocates hoping to minimize the potential harms of mining on local communities.

About the Global Justice Clinic’s Work in this Area: The Clinic provides advocacy support, technical assistance on fact-finding, and legal research relevant to the human rights impacts of gold mining in Haiti. In Spring and Fall 2013, the GJC sent teams to visit mining exploration areas near Cap Haitien in conjunction with the Kolektif Jistis Min. There, they held community meetings to discuss potential rights impacts of mining. These meetings included screenings of a video “postcard” made by GJC students that conveyed advice and shared experiences from a mining-impacted community in Papua New Guinea, the site of another GJC project.

In 2014, the GJC will continue and extend its work in Haiti with a focus on providing technical assistance and accompanying activists in fact-finding concerning the impacts of exploration and mining of gold deposits in Haiti’s northern regions. The GJC is working with its partners to develop a fact-finding toolkit and training materials for monitoring the impacts of mining on human rights. The toolkit will include methods for assessing impacts on the range of human rights affected by mining activities–from the right to water and sanitation, to the rights to an adequate standard of living, as well as to freedom of association and expression.

RSVP and valid ID are required for entry. Please RSVP to Audrey Watne at watnea@exchange.law.nyu.edu. Lunch will be served.

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