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OECD releases statement of concern for defenders facing pressure for submitting cases to its National Contact Points

"OECD Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct expresses deep concern at alleged incidents of undue pressure on those submitting cases to National Contact Points for Responsible Business Conduct", 13 Mar 2020

The OECD Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct is deeply concerned by a number of alleged incidents of undue pressure intended to silence those who submit cases (referred to as “specific instances”) to National Contact Points for Responsible Business Conduct (NCPs). In addition to their impact on submitters, incidents of this kind undermine the NCP process and risk weakening the NCP system as a whole as well as the effectiveness of the OECD Guidelines.

Any undue pressure applied to submitters of specific instances is entirely unacceptable. No individual or organisation filing a specific instance with an NCP should face undue repercussions for doing so. The Working Party – comprised of the 36 OECD countries, 13 additional adherent countries, and the European Union – will continue to carefully monitor this issue. Further, the Working Party calls on all actors to refrain from applying undue pressure on submitters of specific instances.

NCPs are established by governments with a mandate to promote the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, together with related due diligence guidance, and to provide a non-judicial grievance mechanism to handle specific instances. To date, 49 governments have an NCP for RBC. Over 500 cases relating to issues in over 100 countries and territories have been handled by NCPs over the past 20 years...