The Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (IHRHL), established in August 1988, focuses on structural human rights education, conflict resolution, conflict prevention, research, public interest advocacy and documentation in Nigeria.
The organisation believes that the main conflict driver in the Niger Delta region is the violation of human rights. The majority of the population in the Niger Delta do not have access to legal assistance, despite the fact that their rights are often grossly violated. Ignorance and illiteracy also contribute to the problem. People, especially those in rural areas, are unaware of their legal rights and have little understanding of the fact that the law can be used to serve and protect their legitimate interests. IHRHL tries to raise awareness and promote a peaceful way of conflict resolution, while at the same time working on conflict prevention.
Due to the rising instability and violence in this region, IHRHL decided to add the ‘Conflict Transformation Strategies Unit’ to its regular programme. This unit works through a variety of approaches, such as conflict management, conflict prevention and peacebuilding, with the overall aim to transform the existing conflict in the Niger Delta into sustainable peace by transforming the situation from the bottom up. As part of this programme, IHRHL organises inter-community consultations between grass-roots groups in order to forge new alliances and to strengthen the existing foundations for peace. They also work on education in schools to counter secret 'cult' activities, and to introduce alternatives to violence.
IHRHL works in cooperation with the MacArthur Foundation, National Endowment for Democracy, Swedish NGO, Cordaid, Open Society Institute for West Africa, and Oxfam GB.