The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

Background

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) membership of industrialized nations host the majority of corporations and export credit agencies that finance and guarantee projects around the world. The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises are guidelines for corporations operating in and from OECD countries and include standards on human rights, labor, and the environment.

Each of the 46 countries adhering to the OECD Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises (of which the Guidelines are a component) is required to establish a National Contact Point (NCP). NCP functions include promoting the Guidelines, handling enquiries, and facilitating the resolution of problems arising from the non-observance of the Guidelines. In this last function, the NCP receives ‘Specific Instance’ complaints and provides a mediation process for the complainants, often civil society organizations or labor unions, to reach a settlement with the multinational enterprise.

A complaint can be filed with the NCP in the country where the conduct occurred or where the corporation is headquartered. Typically, NCPs follow general procedures outlined by the OECD, but each NCP may also adopt different or more specific procedural rules.

The mediation process is entirely voluntary, and upon its conclusion or termination the NCP will issue a statement and make the results publicly available. The NCP statement may also include recommendations on the implementation of the Guidelines as appropriate.

For more information, see the Accountability Resource Guide, or visit the OECD Guidelines’ website.

Click here to learn more about Accountability Counsel’s advocacy for a stronger NCP system.

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