Remediation and Grievance Mechanisms
- Despite a company’s best efforts, negative impacts on the HRWS may still occur. Where a company identifies that it has caused or contributed to such impacts, it should provide for or cooperate in their remediation through legitimate processes, including state- based judicial and nonjudicial mechanisms.
- Companies should establish or participate in effective opera- tional-level grievance mechanisms. These can help ensure that grievances can be addressed early and remediated directly. Such mechanisms should not undermine legitimate judicial or trade union processes.
A. Establish Appropriate Processes to Provide Remedy
Where a company causes or contributes to an HRWS impact, it should provide for or cooperate in legitimate processes to remedy that harm.
A company should map the existing external grievance mechanisms that exist and assess their effectiveness in order to understand the implications for its own processes for providing remedy to affected stakeholders.
B. Design Effective Operational-Level Grievance Mechanisms
To be effective in practice, a grievance mechanism needs to be trusted by those for whose use it is intended. This means that a company should design any operational-level grievance mechanisms with key “effectiveness criteria” in mind.
A company should review existing internal mechanisms that may be able to address human rights–related grievances to determine whether they are appropriate for handling complaints about HRWS impacts, and address any gaps that may exist.
A company should clearly define what complaints the mechanism will receive, from which stakeholders, and who will be involved in addressing them.
Relevant Key Terms
|Remediation and Remedy|
|Remediation is the process of providing a remedy for a harm. Remedy can take a variety of different forms, including apologies, restitution, rehabilitation, financial and non-financial compensation, and punitive sanctions (whether criminal or administrative), as well as the prevention of harm through injunctions or guarantees of non-repetition. Whereas some forms of remedy are more likely in a judicial mechanism, many are possible through non-judicial processes as well. A legitimate process is one that provides a fair and independent process, is accountable, and produces outcomes that are consistent with human rights.|
|A grievance mechanism is a formal channel for individuals or groups to raise concerns about and seek remedy for impacts a company has had on them, including on their human rights. It may be state-based (such as judicial processes or labor tribunals) or not state-based (such as the mechanisms established by some international financial organizations or by the UN or regional organizations).|