Benefits of Corporate Grievance Mechanisms & Practical Tips on Implementation

One of the three pillars in Ruggie’s UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights is “Remedy”. A critical part of “Remedy” is what has been called “non-judicial access to remedy”. It is widely accepted that, with respect to project-related human rights issues, the most effective such remedy is a close-to-the-ground process that is operated by the company. Although most companies are open and willing to receive complaints, there is still plenty of work needed to demonstrate the benefits of having a formal process and providing practical examples of how that can be done and some of the issues that may arise. We will discuss the leading theories on the benefits of such mechanisms from a compliance point of view as well as a practical point of view, highlighting the positive impact such a program can have on community relations. We will also discuss the cutting edge in designing, implementing, and operating grievance mechanisms and share our experiences and the lessons learned. Although not yet mandatory, it is clear that the trend is strongly moving towards formalizing grievance mechanisms. Given this trend, our session will provide important and necessary guidance for companies as they endeavour to design grievance mechanisms, either to realize the benefits, or in response to growing demands.
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