The Geospatial Technologies and Human Rights Project of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) partnered with Amnesty International-USA (AI-USA) and Amnesty International’s International Secretariat to produce the web site Eyes on Nigeria.
Amnesty International is concerned about several human rights issues in Nigeria, including violations of civil and political rights, economic, social, and cultural rights, and international humanitarian law. For each of the human rights concerns identified, AI-USA sought the expertise of the AAAS Geospatial Technologies and Human Rights Project in the use of geospatial and other advanced research tools to assist with data collection, analysis, mission planning, and the presentation of research findings. The goal was to create an interactive platform to enable Amnesty International members worldwide to explore human rights issues in Nigeria and to strengthen actions taken to address these concerns.
Eyes on Nigeria focuses on the most pressing human rights issues being observed in Nigeria by Amnesty International. These concerns are:
- forced evictions
- policing and justice issues
- conflict in the Niger Delta
- communal conflict
- industrial gas flaring
AAAS has produced the geospatial analysis necessary to address these five issues and four are detailed in this report (forced evictions, conflict in the Niger Delta, communal conflict, and industrial gas flaring). Policing and justice issues are not detailed in this report, as the data sets were pre-existing and required only the addition of geographic location to be utilized.
The analysis in this report combines high resolution satellite imagery with moderate-resolution imaging techniques as well as geovisualization tools using traditional cartographic methods. Eyes on Nigeria also incorporates the use of geolocated photography and video, created by researchers from Amnesty International’s International Secretariat.
Eyes on Nigeria is the third in a line of geovisualization projects aimed at focusing attention on major human rights issues occurring around the world. The first project, Eyes on Darfur, was launched in 2007, to highlight the impact of the ongoing conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan. The second geovisualization partnership led to Eyes on Pakistan, which was released in 2010. While Eyes on Darfur relied on high-resolution satellite imagery to document human rights issues, Eyes on Pakistan is a spatial database of human rights incidents, and provides custom maps according to user queries. It is designed as a tool with which to discover the trends occurring both across a large geographic space and over a long time frame.