Victory: Settlement Reached in Human Rights Cases Against Royal Dutch/Shell
The settlement, whose terms are public, provides a total of $15.5 million. These funds will compensate the 10 plaintiffs, who include family members of the deceased victims; establish a Trust intended to benefit the Ogoni people; and cover a portion of plaintiffs' legal fees and costs. The settlement is only on behalf of the individual plaintiffs for their individual claims. It does not resolve outstanding issues between Shell and the Ogoni people, and the plaintiffs did not negotiate on behalf of the Ogoni people.
Plaintiff Ken Saro-Wiwa, Jr., the son of Ken Saro-Wiwa explained, "In reaching this settlement, we were very much aware that we are not the only Ogonis who have suffered in our struggle with Shell, which is why we insisted on creating the Kiisi Trust." The Kiisi Trust-Kiisi means "Progress" in the plaintiffs' Ogoni language and will allow for initiatives in Ogoni for educational endowments, skill development, agricultural development, women's programs, small enterprise support, and adult literacy.
According to Judith Chomsky, cooperating attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and of the attorneys who initiated the lawsuit, stated, "The fortitude shown by our clients in the 13-year struggle to hold Shell accountable has helped establish a principle that goes beyond Shell and Nigeria-that corporations, no matter how powerful, will be held to universal human rights standards."
Marco Simons, ERI Legal Director, stated, "The courts repeatedly rejected Shell's efforts to dismiss this case, setting important legal precedents for the continued prosecution of corporations in breach of international law. This reinforces the plaintiffs' demands that corporations such as Shell safeguard human rights and the environment."
Full text provided by: The Center for Constitutional Rights
For complete documentation of the legal briefs and further background information visit : http://ccrjustice.org/ourcases/current-cases/wiwa-v.-royal-dutch-petroleum
To read the statement of the Plaintiffs in Wiwa v. Royal Dutch/Shell, Wiwa v. Anderson and Wiwa v. SPDC visit :
Joint NGO Submission on Human Rights and the Extractive Industry - 2005 http://www.escr-net.org/usr_doc/ESCR-Net_on_HR_and_Extractive_Industry.pdf