The OECD Guidelines for multinational enterprises are recommendations for corporations and governments to promote responsible and sustainable corporate behavior.
The guidelines include recommendations on transparency, labor relations, the environment, corruption, consumer protection, transfer of technology, competition and tax. States adopting the guidelines are obliged to implement them to the best of their ability. They must set up a National Contact Point (NCP) to coordinate the implementation of the guidelines. A complaint may be brought before an NCP in cases of a suspected breach of the guidelines.
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.
In a comprehensive study, ECCHR has examined whether European companies through their transnational operations cause or contribute to forced labor or other labor abuses along their supply chains and whether they can be held to account. The result of this work is reflected in the report “Accountability for forced labor in a globalized economy.”
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.
Uzbekistan is considered one of today's most repressive regimes in the world. ECCHR has been engaged in various proceedings to demand that the political and economical interests of Western actors do not further undermine human rights in Uzbekistan.
British-German surveillance technology provider Gamma infringed on its human rights obligations with products such as “state trojan” FinFisher. This was confirmed by the UK’s OECD National Contact Point. In 2013, ECCHR submitted a complaint against Gamma and German firm Trovicor.