Accountability mechanisms - report of Harvard workshop, Nov 2007

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Article
1 January 2008

[PDF] Grievance Mechanisms for Business and Human Rights: Strengths, Weaknesses and Gaps

Author: Caroline Rees, Research Fellow, Corp. Social Responsibility Initiative, Kennedy School of Govt., Harvard Univ.

...[T]here is...a growing body of extrajudicial mechanisms in the business and human rights arena to which complainants can take their concerns. This paper aims to provide an assessment of some of the strengths and weaknesses of this group of mechanisms and the gaps they leave uncovered. The analysis is based on a mixture of background research and consultations with...[those who have] experience of these mechanisms in practice.

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Article
1 January 2008

[PDF] Mapping Grievance Mechanisms in the Business & Human Rights Arena

Author: Caroline Rees & David Vermijs, Research Fellows, Corp. Social Responsibility Initiative, Kennedy School of Govt., Harvard Univ.

This paper sets out in summary form a range of existing grievance mechanisms from a variety of different contexts, whether industry or multi-industry, national, regional or international, private or public, based in law or voluntary standards. The aim here is to describe the mechanisms as factually as possible in order to provide a platform for further analysis as to how effective these mechanisms are and how well they are implemented in practice... [company-level mechanisms profiled: BP Azerbaijan (BTC pipeline), Gap, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Xstrata Copper]

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Article
1 January 2008

[PDF] Rights-Compatible Grievance Mechanisms: A guidance tool for companies and their stakeholders

Author: Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative, Kennedy School of Govt., Harvard Univ.

...what exactly makes a grievance mechanism effective? This guidance aims to help answer that question. It provides a tool for companies and their local stakeholders jointly to devise rights-compatible, effective grievance mechanisms that maximise the opportunities to achieve sustainable solutions to disputes. A rights-compatible mechanism integrates human rights norms and standards into its processes and is based on principles of non-discrimination, equity, accountability, empowerment and participation. It can deal with most kinds of grievances...including...those that reflect substantive human/labour rights concerns. [case studies refer to HP, Dow Chemical, Tolukuma Gold Mine (part of Emperor Mines), BJ&B, Nike, Reebok, Adidas, Xstrata, Gap, BP, BTC (Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline consortium, led by BP)]

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Article
19 November 2007

[PDF] Corporations and Human Rights: Accountability Mechanisms for Resolving Complaints and Disputes - Report of 2nd Multi-Stakeholder Workshop

Author: hosted by Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Govt., Kennedy School of Govt., Harvard Univ.

On 19-20 November 2007, the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government...as part of its project ‘Corporations and Human Rights: Accountability Mechanisms for Resolving Complaints and Disputes’...brought together a core group of expert stakeholders to consider how to improve the effectiveness of extra-judicial grievance/dispute resolution mechanisms in the business and human rights arena. Discussion was divided between two levels of non-judicial grievance mechanism:
a) those located in institutions at the national, industry/multi-industry and international levels;
b) those located at the operational level, specific to a corporate project or site.
The debate also considered how mechanisms at these two levels do and/or should relate to each other, and what new mechanisms might be needed to fill gaps or supplement the growing ‘system’ of extra-judicial grievance processes.

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