Global Policy Forum

New Website on Grievance Mechanisms to Address Human Rights Violations


Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO), a Dutch civil society organization, has launched a new website providing guidance on how to address human rights violations committed by corporations – without law courts. The website provides information on these non-judicial grievance mechanisms and guidance to people and organizations who need to tackle human rights violations.

June 20, 2013 | SOMO

New Website Supports Victims of Human Rights Violations by Companies

“Imagine you work for a civil society organisation dedicated to improving human rights. Through local contacts you hear that workers in a garment factory are paid poverty wages and work in appalling conditions. What do you do? Enforcing better working conditions through the courts is a long and expensive option,” writes the Dutch organization Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) on its websites. On 20th of June 2013 they published their contribution to solving the problem: a website on non-judicial grievance mechanisms.

These grievance mechanisms “can provide an alternative way of responding to the violation of human, labour and environmental rights by companies and obtaining remedy for victims”, SOMO states. The website contains information and tools, as well as a video, to enable and support people’s efforts to use non-judicial grievance mechanisms. They present a wide variety of different types of complaint procedures – ranging from informal to formal – and they can be directed to different parties: for example companies, local authorities or states. “However, there is still much uncertainty about the effectiveness of these grievance mechanisms and how they work”, SOMO points out.

The website is part of SOMOs four-year program on Human Rights and Grievance Mechanisms funded by the Human Rights Fund and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “The program aims to improve the accessibility and effectiveness of non-judicial grievance mechanisms. It also provides advice and support to organisations in the Global South that want to use these grievance mechanisms”, SOMO reports. The project secretary Desiree Koppes summarizes: "By helping them [organizations in the Global South] to file a complaint, SOMO tries to improve access to justice in the field of human and labour rights and the environment."

You can access the website here.

SOMO (2013): New Website Supports Victims of Human Rights Violations by Companies.


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