BERGEN (NORWAY) / LAGOS (NIGERIA), November 4, 2012 – Friends of the Earth International, the world’s largest federation of grassroots environmental organisations, is proud to announce that its chair, Nnimmo Bassey, who is also Executive Director of Friends of the Earth Nigeria, received the 2012 Rafto Prize for Human Rights [1] in Norway on November 4.

The Rafto Prize for Human Rights has been awarded to advocates of human rights and democracy every year since 1987. Several Rafto Laureates have subsequently been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. [2]

The 2012 Rafto Prize was awarded to Nnimmo Bassey in recognition of his long-term fight for people’s rights to life, health, food and water in a world affected by climate change and mass environmental destruction.

“Through his rights based work and criticism of prevailing systems, Bassey has shown how human rights can help mitigate the effects of these changes,” says the Rafto Foundation.

Nnimmo Bassey said:

“I am honored and humbled by this announcement. I hold the Rafto Foundation in high esteem for its commitment to human right defenders. I have campaigned on oil pollution and human rights in Nigeria for decades. Standing with impacted communities we continually demand justice. We press on, convinced that truth will prevail.”

Nnimmo Bassey is one of Africa’s leading advocates and campaigners for the environment and human rights. Bassey has tirelessly stood up against the practices of multinational corporations and the environmental devastation they leave behind, destroying the lives and trampling on the rights of local people.

A Rafto Conference, “Human Rights Threatened by Climate Change”, was held on Saturday 3 November in Bergen and Heikki Eidsvoll Holmås, Norwegian Minister of International Development, opened the conference.


Kari Amble, The Rafto Foundation, Head of Information, Tel: +47 55 21 09 75 Mobile: +47 91 31 44 17 E-mail: kari.amble@rafto.no

Nnimmo Bassey, Friends of the Earth International chair, Tel: +234 80 37 27 43 95 (Nigerian mobile number) or email nnimmo@eraction.org

[1] For more information about the ‘Rafto Prize 2012 please visit: www.rafto.no

[2] The Rafto Laureates whom have subsequently been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize are: Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma (Rafto Prize in 1990), people of East‐Timor by Josè Ramos‐Horta (Rafto Prize in 1993), Kim Dae‐jung, South‐Korea (Rafto Prize in 2000), and Shirin Ebadi, Iran (Rafto Prize in 2001).