Global Policy Forum

SOMO launches further support in filing complaints against multinationals

SOMOThe Human Rights & Grivance Mechanisms programme (HRGM), a SOMO initiative, launches a website which provides information and advice on various non-judicial grievance mechanisms for filing complaints against companies and multinationals. More recently HRGM has included a brochure and introduction video in particular regarding the grievance mechanism of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

20 November, 2013 | SOMO

New brochure and training support human rights defenders to file complaints against multinationals

Nov 15, 2013

In June this year, SOMO’s Human Rights & Grievance Mechanisms programme (HRGM) launched a new website which provides information and advice on various non-judicial grievance mechanisms for filing complaints. The information on the website has expanded since then, and now features items including a new brochure on a grievance mechanism and Spanish subtitles for the introduction video . In addition to brochures on the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman and the World Bank Inspection Panel, it also features a brochure regarding the grievance mechanism of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

A non-judicial grievance mechanism is a procedure that offers (groups of) people a formal instrument to address violations by companies with regard to issues such as human rights, labour rights and environmental damage. It can also be used to claim compensation. Yet, there is still a lot of uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of these grievance mechanisms and how they work. “We inform website visitors about issues they should consider, the activities they should undertake and the documentation they need before filing a complaint with a non-judicial grievance mechanism. The brochures are a great first step in the information supply,” says project secretary Desiree Koppes.

Grievance mechanism African Development Bank

The new brochure, titled The Independent Review Mechanism of the African Development Bank provides a brief overview of the work of the African Development Bank and is aimed at civil society organisations, workers, communities and groups of individuals who are harmed by an AfDB-supported project. It outlines the main AfDB policy and process; the who, what, when, where and why of filing a complaint; and a step-by-step guide about how to file a complaint.  

Training in filing complaints

Within the framework of the HRGM programme, SOMO, in partnership with southern partners, provides trainings  on non-judicial grievance mechanisms and thereby helps human rights defenders with filing complaints against multinationals. Three training sessions were held in September and October in Indonesia, Mexico and Kenya. They focused on providing the participants with a better knowledge of non-judicial grievance mechanisms and practical skills for using these mechanisms in an effective way. The participants were also given detailed advice on their specific cases.
The training structure ran parallel to a step-by-step plan for filing non-judicial complaints. The steps consisted of various (interactive) modules, presentations and exercises in which the participants shared experiences from their current cases and prior experiences with grievance mechanisms. For more information about the training sessions, click here

Introduction video on non-judicial grievance mechanisms

The introduction video on the various types of non-judicial grievance mechanisms can be downloaded via the website (now also available with Spanish subtitles).

More information?

For more information on grievance mechanisms, training sessions, videos, brochures and the programme, visit the website of the Human Rights & Grievance Mechanisms programme.

For the SOMO article please click here:


FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Global Policy Forum distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.