When people are negatively affected as a result of the company’s actions, things need to be set right. Companies will often have a range of existing pathways for people to raise complaints, such as through trade unions, internal hotlines or websites where customers can lodge complaints. However, these mechanisms may not capture all the kinds of human rights impacts a company can be involved with -- so companies need to think systemically about how affected people can raise complaints, and what processes the company has to provide remedy where it has caused or contributed to a negative impact.
Operational-level grievance mechanisms can be one important means of providing remedy. They can also be effective early warning systems for companies and can feed into broader human rights due diligence processes.
Learn more: see all our resource library listings below, as well as specific sections from these comprehensive resources:
May 2016 | UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; UN Human Rights Council
This report, issued by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, sets out guidance for states to improve access to judicial remedy for victims of business-related human rights abuses.
May 2014 | Shift
This resource reviews what companies are expected to do to provide remedy when human rights impacts have already occurred, whether in their own operations or in their value chains, in line with the Guiding Principles.
December 2013 | Partners: Better Work Programme, International Labour Organization
In collaboration with the ILO's Better Work Programme, Shift developed a manual for Enterprise Advisors to integrate guidance on effective factory-level grievance mechanisms into the support that Better Work provides to factories.
July 2013 | Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD
This guide, authored by the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD, is designed for trade unions and provides an overview of the Guidelines and how trade unions can make use of them.
May 2013 | Emma Wilson and Emma Blackmore; International Institute for Environment and Development
This book explores the use and impact of company-community grievance mechanisms in the oil and gas, forestry, and mining sectors through a series of practical case studies.
January 2013 | Partners: Norwegian OECD National Contact Point
Shift provided support to the Norwegian National Contact Point as it underwent a formal peer review process in 2013 in line with the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
August 2012 | Shift
This resource examines how companies can implement the Guiding Principles throughout their supply chains, including identifying and prioritizing risks, using their leverage, understanding the role of auditing and supporting grievance mechanisms.
May 2011 | Caroline Rees; Corporate Responsibility Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School
This comprehensive study of what constitutes effective operational-level grievance mechanisms was produced as part of the Ruggie mandate and was published by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011. Its findings are reflected in the Guiding Principles.