Today the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre launched a new online information portal regarding “Human rights impacts of oil pollution: U.S. Gulf Coast, Ecuador, Nigeria”.  According to a press release issued by the nonprofit organization, the portal will impartially present articles, videos and reports from all sides of the crises and encourages people to give feedback and/or provide additional information about what’s happening.

Before launching the new portal, the Centre asked each company covered in the Ecuador and Nigeria briefings to contribute further information and/or statements on the happenings discussed in the briefings.  The portal also includes links to reports about Ecuador and Nigeria (tracked by the Centre through their many years of contact with affected peoples and the companies involved).  The purpose of the briefings is to keep an ongoing focus on these issues, as well as provide a public platform for continuing debate.

The press release ended with this statement: 

“All three briefings – U.S. Gulf Coast, Ecuador and Nigeria – will be kept updated over the coming months and years.  Any company, organization or commentator wishing to submit a clarification, response or further information is welcome to do so – see contact details below.  When concerns are raised about the human rights impacts of a company, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invites the company to provide a public response to the allegations.  This allows companies to put forward their views, and encourages companies to address important concerns being raised by civil society.  In coming years the Resource Centre will consider expanding this information hub to cover oil pollution in other countries (Business & Human Rights Resource Centre).

The press release has several first person accounts of the oil spills in these areas and how it has (and continues to) affect people and their livelihood.  Some of the companies covered in the briefings are BP, ExxonMobil, Halliburton, Chevron, Texaco, Shell and Eni.  

The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre tracks the human rights impacts (positive & negative) of 5000 companies in over 180 countries.  The site is updated hourly and receives 1.5 million hits per month.  To read the entire press release, please click here.

Do you think making this information public and encouraging people to provide feedback etc. is a good idea? Does it perpetuate the importance and dependence on social media for information? Discuss!