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Grievance Mechanisms to Meet Stakeholder Expectations

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Business enterprises have a responsibility to respect human rights. An effective grievance mechanism is an important contribution to human rights due diligence processes. Register for CSR Europe’s webinar on 14th of November and explore how your organisation can refine its grievance management procedures and ensure the voice of all rightsholders is heard.

 

Business enterprises, according to the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct, should establish an operational-level grievance mechanism aligned with the effectiveness criteria listed in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs).

According to the UNGPs framework, an effective grievance mechanism should be:

Legitimate

Enabling trust from the stakeholder groups for whose use they are intended, and being accountable for the fair conduct of grievance processes

Accessible

Being known to all stakeholder groups for whose use they are intended, and providing adequate assistance for those who may face particular barriers to access

Predictable

Providing a clear and known procedure with an indicative time frame for each stage, and clarity on the types of process and outcome available and means of monitoring implementation

Equitable

Seeking to ensure that aggrieved parties have reasonable access to sources of information, advice and expertise necessary to engage in a grievance process on fair, informed and respectful terms

Transparent

Keeping parties to a grievance informed about its progress, and providing sufficient information about the mechanism’s performance to build confidence in its effectiveness and meet any public interest at stake

Rights-Compatible

Ensuring that outcomes and remedies accord with internationally recognized human rights

A source of continuous learning

Drawing on relevant measures to identify lessons for improving the mechanism and preventing future grievances and harms

Based on engagement and dialogue

Consulting the stakeholder groups for whose use they are intended on their design and performance, and focusing on dialogue as the means to address and resolve grievances

 

However, many companies still face a number of challenges while trying to put this framework in practice. Who to engage in process design and revision? How to ensure the channel is accessible to all employees and affected 3rd parties? How to best communicate about it? How to deal with the fear of reprisals? Moreover, often the priority falls on the provision of remedy, and the potential of grievance mechanisms as a source of information on human rights risks remains underutilised.

In the context of increasing scrutiny over human rights due diligence from various stakeholder groups (regulators, NGOs, financial institutions), join the CSR Europe webinar on November 14th  to discover how your company can address these challenges at the early stages. In collaboration with business practitioners and human rights experts, CSR Europe has developed an assessment tool to measure the level of maturity of company practices in dealing with human rights-related grievances. 

 

More information:

Oksana Kobylianskaia

Project Manager