Any natural or legal person can lodge a complaint at one of the OECD’s National Contact Points (NCPs) regarding the breach of the Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, regardless of whether the complainant has been personally affected.
The OECD guidelines oblige companies from signatory states to respect human rights in the course of foreign business operations. A complaint can be made to the NCP in the country where the company is based or where it conducts business. The NCP does not have the power to impose sanctions, but it can arrange mediation between the complainants/victims and the company. If no agreement is reached, the NCP may issue a final report assessing the company’s conduct.
A few months before the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Dhaka, TÜV Rheinland audited the production facilities at textile producer Phantom Apparel Ltd as part of a social audit. ECCHR argues that TÜV Rheinland ignored professional auditing standards.
Big energy companies disrespect human rights and environmental protection time and again – as in the case of Électricité de France in Oaxaca, Mexico. The problem: wind power stations are planned on the territory of the indigenous Unión Hidalgo community. EDF is trying to secure a construction authorization from the Mexican state – but until now, the indigenous group was not effectively consulted.
Italian audit company RINA certified a Ali Enterprises, Pakistan, building shortly before a fire broke out in the factory. The certificate failed to guarantee high standards of security. ECCHR and an international coalition of human rights organizations filed an OECD complaint against RINA in September 2018.