Environmental organisations file OECD complaints against Shell for worldwide violations of the OECD Guidelines

In the Philippines, Shell is guilty of manipulating local authorities and failing to adequately inform local residents and employees about the dangers of its operations. This involves the withholding of information on the environmental, health and safety consequences of Shell’s activities. Furthermore, the company lacks plans to diminish the dangers around its oil depot.

In São Paulo, Brazil, the main allegations concern chemicals that Shell has stored at and below its facilities for over twenty years. In January, 2005, the Brazilian government demanded that the company stop this practice and that it help workers and local residents with health complaints related to chemicals and high levels of heavy metals in their blood. However, the company has not taken a proactive response to this requirement and has shown little concern for its own employees and local residents.

Anne van Schaik, Globalization campaign manager at Friends of the Earth Netherlands states, “The complaints show that Shell is still not respecting the environment and human rights worldwide. Therefore we ask the government to help. They have to take care Shell is behaving the same way in other countries as they do in the Netherlands”.

“Now it is of importance that the NCP quickly takes action regarding the filed complaints. People and the environment have already suffered too long because of the socially irresponsible way in which Shell operates”, relates Paul de Clerck, international coordinator of the Corporates Campaign of Friends of the Earth International.

Complaints about companies that do not comply with the internationally agreed OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises can be submitted to OECD Governments. It is the first time in three years that Dutch NGOs have filed complaints to the Dutch NCP. Dutch NGOs had lost faith in the OECD Guidelines complaint mechanism and the functioning of the NCP due to disappointing outcomes in the past. However, the Dutch NCP recently undertook an evaluation and expressed a willingness to improve its functioning and handling of cases. Friends of the Earth and its partners now call on the Dutch NCP to put these good intentions into practice by playing an effective role in the resolution of the issues raised on an expedited basis.

To read the complaints against Shell click here