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

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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 (opens in new window) 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 to Non-Judicial Grievance Mechanisms

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 (opens in new window) (now also available with Spanish subtitles(opens in new window) ).

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(opens in new window) . For questions and additional information, please contact Mariette van Huijstee by sending an email to:

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