The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises specify how the NCPs are to deal with specific instances and describes the NCPs tasks. In accordance with the Guidelines, the NCP shall:

  • Make the Guidelines known and available
  • Respond to enquiries from companies, labour organisations, civil society and other stakeholders
  • Assess complaints and contribute to resolving cases that arise regarding breaches of the Guidelines, and where dialogue or mediation is not feasible publish a final statement on the complaint
  • Report annually to the OECD investment committee
  • Share experience and discuss cases and good practices with NCPs in other countries
  • Fulfil the criteria for non-judicial grievance mechanisms as set forth by the UN and the OECD

OECD Core Criteria

In accordance with the Guidelines, commentary 9 on the Procedural Guidance for NCPs, all NCPs shall be characterised by:

Visibility. Adhering governments should inform the business community, worker organisations, NGOs and other interested parties about the availability of facilities associated with NCPs. Governments are expected to publish information about their NCP and to take an active role in promoting the Guidelines (i.e. by hosting seminars and meetings, which could be done in co-operation with different stakeholders).
Accessibility. Easy access to NCP s is important to their effective functioning. NCPs respond to all legitimate requests for information and also deal with specific issues raised by different parties in an efficient and timely manner.
Transparency. Transparency contributes to the accountability of the NCP and is important for gaining the confidence of the general public. Activities of NCPs should be transparent, although it is recognised that in specific instances NCPs might take appropriate steps to establish confidentiality of the proceedings.
Accountability. A more active role in enhancing the profile of the Guidelines – and their potential to aid in the management of difficult issues between enterprises and the societies in which they operate – puts the activities of NCPs in the public eye. Nationally, parliaments could have a role to play. Annual reports and regular meetings of NCPs provide an opportunity to share experiences and encourage best practices. The OECD Investment Committee also holds exchanges of views, where experiences are exchanged and the effectiveness of the activities of NCPs could be assessed.

UN Guiding Principles’ Effectiveness Criteria for Non-Judicial Grievance Mechanisms

For a non-judicial grievance mechanism, such as the OECD National Contact Point, to function as intended, it must according to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights 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 timeframe 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.

Useful links

 

Was this helpful?