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10 Apr 2024

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

OHCHR publishes new interpretative guide on access to remedy in cases of business-related human rights abuse


'Access to Remedy in Cases of Business-related Human Rights Abuse: An Interpretive Guide (Advance Version)'

I. Introduction

...The [UN] Guiding Principles, and their access to remedy pillar in particular, are grounded in a recognition of the need for rights and obligations to be matched to appropriate and effective remedies when they are breached. Concerns have been expressed by human rights observers and stakeholder groups about serious deficiencies in the implementation by many States and business enterprises of their respective international obligations and responsibilities as regards access to remedy. In 2014, OHCHR launched the Accountability and Remedy Project in response to those concerns and in order to strengthen accountability and access to remedy in cases of business-related human rights abuse...

The content of the present interpretative guide, which focuses specifically on the access to remedy pillar of the Guiding Principles, draws heavily from Accountability and Remedy Project reports and the extensive empirical research, stakeholder consultations and expert reviews that informed them. The guide brings together in one place the key concepts, underlying principles and learning points from the many years of work that led up to the Guiding Principles themselves, the findings from the Accountability and Remedy Project, and the reports and recommendations of the Working Group on business and human rights...

Structure of the guide

Chapter II briefly defines some key concepts used in the Guiding Principles and in the present guide.

Chapters III to VII focus on the substance of the Guiding Principles covered in the access to remedy pillar, with a series of basic questions and answers to help interpret each principle, its intent and the implications of its implementation. They are addressed here in the same order as the order in which they are found in the Guiding Principles:

III. Foundational principle on access to remedy
IV. State-based judicial mechanisms
V. State-based non-judicial grievance mechanisms
VI. Non-State-based grievance mechanisms
VII. Effectiveness criteria for non-judicial grievance mechanisms

Additional reference material on the access to remedy pillar may be found on the OHCHR website, where there is a dedicated web page with resources on accountability and remedy...