Posted: 18 May 2010
Amnesty label Shell’s business principles as “meaningless” as video launches to coincide with Shell’s AGM
Amnesty International today launched a new hard-hitting online video aimed at exposing Shell’s appalling human rights record in the Niger Delta – on the very day that the oil giant is holding its AGM at the Barbican in London.
The video focuses on Shell’s illegal practice of ‘gas flaring’ in the Niger Delta, which is impacting on the lives of millions of people each day.
It also exposes the deep flaws in Shell’s ‘Business Principles’ – principles Amnesty described today as “meaningless”.
Naomi McAuliffe, who is heading Amnesty’s campaign on Shell, said:
“Shell’s actions in the Niger Delta are indefensible. The evidence that Amnesty and others have documented over decades lays waste to Shell’s claims that they are socially responsible company.
“They can come out with as many worthy policies as they want, but if they don’t make any difference on the ground then their so-called Business Principles are completely meaningless.
“Communities in the Niger Delta continue to claim that gas flaring has an impact on their health. The practice has been illegal in Nigeria since 1984, but the Nigerian government keeps allowing all companies to do it. And it continues on a colossal scale.
“Gas flaring coupled with numerous oil spills has left local communities with little option but to drink polluted water, eat contaminated fish, farm on spoiled land, and breathe in air that stinks of oil and gas.
“Shell is failing to uphold basic human rights: the right to clean water, the right to an adequate standard of living, the right to health and a healthy environment, and the right to food. In short, people’s rights are going up in flames.”
Amnesty has also placed advertisements today in The Financial Times and The Evening Standard to highlight the human rights abuses for which Shell is responsible. A hoarding with the advertisement on it will also be driven around the streets of London.
The advertisements were entirely paid for by concerned members of the public, responding to a fundraising appeal sent out through Amnesty’s social media and e-mail groups. It was the first time Amnesty had used those networks to pay for an advertisement.
Gas flaring occurs when oil is pumped out of the ground. The process produces gas which is then separated and, in Nigeria, most of it is burnt as waste.