On 11-12 April 2007, the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at the Harvard University's Kenny School of Government hosted a multi-stakeholder workshop as part of a project entitled 'Corporations and Human Rights: Accountability Mechanisms for Resolving Complaints and Disputes'. The workshop brought together a broadly-ranged group of expert stakeholders to explore how one could enhance the effectiveness of complaints/dispute resolution mechanisms in the business and human rights arena. The objective was to gain a better understanding of participants' views on existing mechanisms, their merits and deficits, what optimal mechanisms might look like, and how this coud fit together within a wider accountabiltiy system.
The first part of this report provides a synthesis of the discussions during the workshop. The second part identifies six key emerging themes. These are; the need for a general human rights framework, the need for a minimum standard of access, the need to maximize space for dialogue based on values and interests, the relevance of having alternatives to a dialogue-based process, the identification of functional gaps and the paramountcy of legitimacy. The final section of the report describes the next steps for the project.
On 19-20 November 2007, the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government hosted the second multi-stakeholder workshop as part of its project 'Coroporations and Human Rights: Accountability Mechanisms for Resolving complaints and Disputes'. The event brought together a core group of expert stakeholders to consider how to improve the effectiveness of extra-judicial grievance/dispute resolution mechanisms in the business and human rights arena. Participants included experts from NGOs, government, business, multi-stakeholder initiatives, financing institutions, lawyers, mediators, investment funds and academia. This report is designed to capture the key issues and ideas that emerged.