India: Workshop on Grievance Mechanisms to address Business Impacts on Human Rights in India

Cividep India, a Bangalore-based NGO, is organizing a national workshop on business and human rights grievance mechanisms will be held in New Delhi, India, from October 30 - November 1, 2014, to discuss grievance mechanisms available to communities to peacefully and legally address concerns about business related human rights issues. 

Civil society in India has witnessed various adverse impacts of businesses, both multinational and domestic, on human rights and particularly on vulnerable groups such as indigenous peoples, workers and farmers. Corporations have had negative impacts on communities’ access to natural resources, their health and the environment at large. Workers in India in many sectors work under hazardous conditions, often without any protection against occupational diseases and without information about their rights to form or join unions to bargain collectively. Too often business-related human rights abuses have gone unremediated despite the existence of several national, international, judicial and non- judicial grievance mechanisms. Civil society has not sufficiently taken advantage of available mechanisms in their struggles for a variety of reasons: lack of awareness about their existence and functioning; doubts about their effectiveness to provide remedy to victims of human rights abuses; intimidation of human rights defenders who do use them; and practical barriers such as lack of adequate support and financial resources.

The objective of the workshop is to understand grievance mechanisms available in India so that communities, workers, and civil society can make informed choices to hold businesses accountable to human and civil rights, labour standards, and environmental laws."