Remedy is supposed to refer to the remediation of a wrong–the reversing of an impact. In practice, achieving remedy would require: first, the ability of a rightsholder to articulate that a human right has been impacted by a company; second, the acceptance by the business enterprise of its role in the impact, and; third, provision of remedial actions by the company to reverse the impact, address any implications of the impact as it was occurring. As a matter of human rights due diligence, the business enterprise would be expected to modify policies and practices as needed to prevent similar impacts from occurring again in the future.
There are no established non-judicial remedy processes currently implemented by multinational business actors. Efforts are underway to design and improve on existing practices, however, at the operational, enterprise, and sectoral levels. A 2019 report by the International Committee of Jurists highlights challenges for operations-level grievance mechanisms to enable rightsholders to complain as well as to push companies to address human rights complaints meaningfully. SOMO has closely tracked the shortcomings of independent accountability mechanisms (IAMs) of development finance institutions to field complaints and act on them. The Rights in Development network built on this work, directly contacting communities whose advocates were attacked, criminalized or killed when trying to elevate human rights concerns to the development banks financing infrastructure projects on their lands. NomoGaia contributed to their 2018 report, Uncalculated Risks: Threats and attacks against human rights defenders and the role of development financiers.
Multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs) designed to elevate the ethical performance of business sectors have become an increasingly popular avenue for housing non-judicial grievance mechanisms. NomoGaia has worked with several MSIs, in the aluminum, sugar, palm oil, garment and other sectors. In 2018-2020 NomoGaia worked with the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) to better understand how or if these mechanisms secure remedies to people who make confirmed, legitimate human rights complaints. Work from the Access to Remedy Project III (ARP III) will go live on the Remedy page as it becomes available.