Shell Oil Company and Human Rights Violations

Topics: Human rights, Royal Dutch Shell, Ogoni people Pages: 8 (2690 words) Published: March 6, 2011
Global interconnectivity began when Columbus landed in the Americas thus the spread of colonization, and imperialism. Global interconnectivity or globalization transcends local and national boundaries and presents both positive and negative impacts to industrialized, along with ‘developing’ countries. Globalization is presented almost as a modern day utopia, whereas, the evidence suggests the contradictory. One of the main difficulties presented by globalization is the investment of multinational corporations within developing countries. The interconnectivity and interdependency of corporations and governments has been a lethal combination which produces human rights infringement. Human rights were created and established upon following World War II, due to the global agreed upon aspiration of never, under any circumstances witnessing a duplication of such fanatical violation of basic individual privileges. Unfortunately, history has repeated itself, and civil liberties have been infringed upon once again. Human rights violations have been reported within the raging conflict of the Niger Delta region. The conflict is a result of the oil and gas reserves within the area. Many companies invest within the region, but Shell is the major extractor of oil in the region. This essay will explore whether the Shell Oil Company investment within the Niger Delta region has lead to human rights violations. In order to answer this questions this essay will begin by providing a brief overview of the Niger Delta region. Subsequently proceeding to explore different Human Rights charters and covenants and survey whether the Shell Company has in fact violated the terms established within them. Afterwards this essay will address the effects the Shell Oil Company has had on the Niger Delta region and the people, by exploring how the political, social, and economical stability of the region has been compromised. Finally, this essay will look at whether the Nigerian government is responsible for the Human Rights violation due to their lack of law enforcement and oversight over the Shell Company, or is the responsibility upon the corporation to ensure they uphold unbeneficial fiscal regulations. The Niger Delta Region:

The Niger Delta region is in south Nigeria, Africa. The region is divided amongst different ethnic groups, all which identify themselves to be distinctly different from the other. There are 370 different ethnic groups that occupy the Niger Delta area. They are “the Ijaw, Ogoni, Ogba, Ikwerre, Itsekiri, Urohobo, Ibibio, Efik, Ndokwa, etc. But the Ijaw is the largest group in the Niger Delta belt” (Naagbanton, ?, 2). The region is known for its extraordinarily diverse ecosystems “which faces the Atlantic in southern Nigeria, is the world’s third largest wetland. Its mangrove forests, described as ‘rain forest by the sea’ shelter all sorts of crustaceans” (Cantarow, 2011, 13). Furthermore, this region better known for its abundance of highly valued renewable and non-renewable natural resources. This region alone contains 3 trillion cubic meters of gas reserves, along with 20 billion barrels of oil reserves; while the whole continent of Africa produces 66 billion barrels of oil (Aaron, 2005, 127). The country of Nigeria realizes heavily on these resources, 85% of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), greater than 80% of the country’s wealth, along with over 95% of the national budget is attained from oil and gas found in the Niger Delta region (Aaron, 2005, 127). Contrarily to regional resources, the Niger Delta continues to be an extremely improvised area. The exploitation of both oil and gas resources by the government and international corporations has contributed to the increased poverty of the region. Two main factors that have led to poverty in the area are; first, an improper division of wealth has increased poverty in the area. The indigenous people have received almost nothing for all the oil exported...
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