On 20 and 21 September the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) hosted an expert meeting to  help set out the scope and methodology for the third phase of the Accountability and Remedy Project (ARP), which is focused on non-State-based grievance mechanisms (i.e. company-level and other third-party grievance mechanisms). The OHCHR has been working on the ARP initiative since 2014 to address the challenges that victims of human rights abuses face when business enterprises are involved. The ARP has received multiple mandates from the Human Rights Council to deliver rigorous and evidence-based guidance to States to improve implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in the area of access to remedy, in particular, to ensure a more effective system of remedies in cases of business involvement on human rights abuses. The ARP initiative is important not only for the evidence and insights it collects on remedy but also potentially for the development of international law. This work remains a high priority for the new UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, and continues to be watched and appreciated by the Human Rights Council.

Andrea Shemberg, Visiting Fellow at the Laboratory for Advanced Research on the Global Economy, participated on a research team with two researchers from the Alliance Manchester Business School to draft a scoping paper for the ARP III process. The purpose of the paper was to contribute to the OHCHR’s effort to map the current practices and challenges with respect to the use of non-state-based non-judicial grievance mechanisms (NSBGM) as a way of enhancing access to remedy in cases of adverse human rights impacts that are business-related, and to identify areas for further research, especially with a view of (i) identifying and understanding the links between NSBGM and other types of grievance mechanisms, and (ii) ultimately integrating the different mechanisms in what acts as part of a global governance regime for business and human rights.

Dr. Stefan Zagelmeyer and Andrea Shemberg presented the research findings at the ARP III expert meeting. The paper can be found here.