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Dutch OECD NCP final statement on complaint accusing Shell of issuing misleading statements on oil spills (2013)

In January 2011, Amnesty International and Friends of the Earth filed a complaint with the Dutch OECD National Contact Point (NCP) alleging that Shell has breached the OECD Guidelines.  The complainants claimed that Shell made misleading and incomplete statements about the causes of oil pollution in the Niger Delta, causing severe damage to local communities and misleading external stakeholders.  

In June 2013, the Dutch OECD NCP issued its final statement on the case.  The statement made recommendations for Shell to further implement the OECD Guidelines, but did not establish that the company has breached them.  A governmental statement on the decision is available here.

Following the statement, Amnesty International and Friends of the Earth issued a press release criticising the NCP’s decision and reiterating their concerns about Shell’s misleading statements about oil spills constituting a breach of the OECD Guidelines.  Due to concerns about the NCP process, they withdrew a related complaint regarding Shell’s role in oil pollution in Nigeria.

According to Audrey Gaughran of Amnesty International: "Sabotage is a problem in Nigeria, but Shell exaggerates this issue to avoid criticism for its failure to prevent oil spills...The oil companies are liable to pay compensation when spills are found to be their fault but not if the cause is attributed to sabotage – but it is effectively the company that investigates itself. This is clearly a system open to abuse and we have evidence that it has been abused."

Paul de Clerck of Friends of the Earth Europe said: "Today the NCP failed to speak out against Shell’s abuse in Nigeria. It did not assess key evidence provided and thereby let the company off the hook. For the people of the Niger Delta this is yet another failure of justice."

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Shell and the Dutch OECD NCP to respond to the concerns raised in the press release.

Shell’s response [DOC]

Dutch OECD NCP’s comments [DOC]

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Dutch OECD NCP final statement on complaint accusing Shell of issuing misleading statements on oil spills & causing harm to local communities (Jun 2013)

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[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Shell and the Dutch OECD NCP to respond to the concerns. Response & comments provided.] In January 2011, Amnesty International and Friends of the Earth filed a complaint with the Dutch OECD...

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