Company-based grievance mechanisms

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights expect companies to establish or participate in effective operational-level grievance mechanisms for individuals and communities who may be adversely impacted" (Guiding Principle 29). 

The critieria to ensure the effectiveness of grievance mechanisms is outlined in Guiding Principle 31 and includes and expectation that mechanisms are: Legitimate, accessible, predictable, equitable, transparent, rights-compatible, a source of continuous learning, and based on engagement and dialogue.

Key tools & guidance

ACCESS Facility
Provides database of existing non-judicial grievance mechanisms


Piloting Principles for Effective Company-Stakeholder Grievance Mechanisms,  Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School


Examples of implementation & uses

Below are selected examples of company-based grievance mechanisms. 

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Related stories and components

1 December 2012

[PDF] Supporting Worker Empowerment - Including Support for Workers’ Assertion of their Human Rights - in the Supply Chain

Author: Katie Plichta, Dimitri Phillips, and other Members of the Stanford Colloquium on International Business Practices, under the direction of Stanford Prof. Chip Pitts, in collaboration with Cody Sisco and Blythe Chorn of Business for Social Responsibility and with input from the Global Compact Human Rights Working Group and Supply Chain Advisory Group.

This Note is focused on what businesses can do to better support workers in their supply chain, including through supporting workers’ assertion of their human rights. As such, it is relevant to both the corporate responsibility to respect human rights...

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30 November 2012

[PDF] A guide to human rights for small and medium-sized enterprises

Author: Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry, European Commission

This guide has been written for small and medium-sized enterprises in the European Union...There are a growing number of guides to human rights that have been prepared for larger, multinational companies but there are not many resources available for...

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1 November 2012

[PDF] Operational level grievance mechanisms: good practice survey

Author: IPIECA (Global oil and gas industry association for environmental & social issues)

Wherever companies do business, engaging with affected communities and responding to their concerns is essential to operating successfully whilst ensuring respect for human rights. Processes that allow concerns to be raised and remedied—also known as...

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23 October 2012

Barrick implements framework of remediation initiatives

Author: Barrick Gold

Barrick Gold Corporation and the Porgera Joint Venture continue to take action in response to violence against women at the Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea. The latest of these actions involves the implementation of the Olgeta Meri Igat Raits (All...

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1 October 2012

Session Summary: Identifying an Effective Remedy for Human Rights Impacts

Author: 2012 BSR Conference

Access to remedy cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach. Each violation and remedy needs to be understood from the local perspective and designed to meet local needs...Communities have locally appropriate ways to resolve conflicts, and companies need...

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1 July 2012

[PDF] Community Development Toolkit

Author: Intl. Council on Mining & Minerals (ICMM)

The toolkit is divided into four introduction...a brief discussion of mining and community development...a community development tools section that introduces the essential building blocks of community development and describes the 20...

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1 September 2011

[DOC] Better Access to Remedy in Company-Community Conflicts in the field of CSR: A Model for Company-Based Grievance Mechanisms

Author: Cristina Cedillo, Institute for Environmental Security

The present research will contribute to the current literature on CSR and will propose a model for company-based mechanisms that can aspire to solving disputes in non-judicial, anticipated and CSR-conscious way. Hence, the mechanism should be designed...

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1 June 2011

[PDF] Piloting Principles for Effective Company-Stakeholder Grievance Mechanisms: A Report of Lessons Learned

Author: Caroline Rees, Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School, on behalf of UN Special Representative on business & human rights John Ruggie

This report sets out key lessons learned from a pilot project conducted in 2009-2010 to test the practical applicability of a set of principles for effective non-judicial grievance mechanisms...involving businesses and their stakeholders. The...

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