New report exposes Shell involvement in corruption, slavery and environmental destruction on five continents

Shareholders at Shell’s AGM today (THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS, 17 May 2011) received a last minute correction to Shell’s annual report, admitting corporate responsibility for bribery, slavery, pollution and human rights abuses on five continents, and pledging to do better.

The spoof “erratum”, distributed by Friends of the Earth International, coincided with the release of a new report detailing twelve cases of environmental and social injustice related to Shell’s oil, gas and biofuel operations, including the joint venture with Brazilian biofuel producer Cosan S.A., which has been linked to slave labour.

Beth Stratford, energy campaigner for Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: “Today’s exposure of Shell’s appalling track record of environmental and human rights abuses across the world might shock some people in Scotland, who are only acquainted with the more respectable end of Shell’s operations.

“We hope that this new evidence will serve as a wake up call, not only for Shell’s shareholders, but for investors like bailed out bank RBS, who have a clear moral responsibility to make sure that the taxpayers money does not fund corruption, slavery and environmental destruction like this.”

Representatives from indigenous communities affected by Shell’s activities were present at the AGM to offer personal testimony:

Lionel Lepine, representing the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation in Canada, said: “Shell’s tar sand operations are disrupting our traditional way of life. They are destroying our air, water, land and medicinal plants and the birds, fish and animals we depend on to sustain our people.

“Shell’s footprint in our lands will have a multi-generational effect on our children not yet born, they are violating our Indigenous rights, the rights of our sacred Mother Earth and we are here at their AGM to put them on notice that we will stop them.”

Eric Dooh, a Nigerian farmer who is taking Shell to court in The Netherlands for refusal to clean up oil spills in his fishponds and on his fields, said: “Oil spills from Shell pipelines caused the water and agricultural land in our village to be severely polluted. We want Shell to clean up the pollution so we can fish and farm again.”

Friends of the Earth International demands from Shell that the company: Cleans up pollution and compensates victims. Improves maintenance of its operations to avoid new cases of pollution. Reduces the carbon footprint of its operations. Terminates operations posing severe risks to water supplies, health, agriculture and biodiversity, such as high-volume gas-fracking, tar sands, Arctic and deep sea drilling. Ceases the violation of human rights and compensates victims.


For media enquiries, please contact: Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland 

t: 0131 243 2719

Notes to Editors

The spoof erratum can be downloaded here: 


On 19 May 2011, Eric Dooh will for the first time face Shell in court during a hearing in The Hague. For more information about the court case and about what will happen on 19 May, go to 


Friends of the Earth Scotland is * Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation * An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland * Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 77 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups – covering every continent.