Saturday 23 January 2021

‘Human rights a serious issue in Groningen gas debate’

groningen earthquake damageThe government must acknowledge which human rights are under threat due to the extraction of natural gas in Groningen, the Dutch human rights committee said on Thursday.

Yesterday’s highly criticial report makes it ‘very clear that the safety of people living in Groningen province was not properly dealt with,’ the committee told website nu.nl.

The state is required to protect its citizens’ physical and mental health and their homes, the committee said.

The people of Groningen were excluded from the debate for too long, the human rights committee said. ‘Participation is a fundamental human right. Citizens have the right to take part and decide about the way their land… is managed.’

Local campaign groups have welcomed Wednesday’s report, saying their fears have been ignored for far too long.

Thousands of homes have been damaged and gone down in value because of the earthquakes caused by the gas extraction.

The Dutch safety council on Wednesday published a report which criticised the way the government, the regulators and private companies ignored public safety in their pursuit of maximum gas revenues.

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