Monday, November 27, 2017

Snapshot Presentation "Beyond Western Approaches to Non-Judicial Grievance Mechanisms"--New at the United Nations OHCHR Forum for Business and Human Rights (27-29 November 2017)

My colleague Flora Sapio made an excellent snapshot presentation this afternoon at the UN Forum for Business and Human Rights. The presentation, "Beyond Western Approaches to Non-Judicial Grievance Mechanisms"sketched out a program of research aimed at considering the transposition of the business and human rights project for states operating within Socialist economic and political systems. It suggests both target areas, those aspects of the emerging discourse of business and human rights that do not "translate well" from Western political and economic sensibilities and premises to those that serve as the foundation for Socialist states. Building on that, the project then suggests both the potential difficulties and approaches to robustly embedding business and human rights practices within the social, political and economic systems that do not easily fit into the mold of developed Western states.

The PowerPoints and a brief Concept Note follows.

Concept Note
"Beyond Western Approaches to Non-Judicial Grievance Mechanisms"

The development of accessible and effective grievance mechanisms ought not to be driven by an abstract design. It should be based on a solid knowledge of those mechanisms as they already exist across and within domestic contexts. They are built by aligning the interests, cultures and practices of multiple stakeholders within the domestic context of the place where vulnerable populations live and engage in interactions with those with duties and responsibilities to avoid human rights abuses.

With these parameters in mind, our proposed session will aim to highlight a number of mechanisms that can be deployed on the ground by local populations to produce movement toward effective remedial responses in Marxist Leninist States, states which tend to be overlooked in global discussions of remedial mechanisms. In particular this Snapshot considers the development of tools that can be used to translate the remedial mechanisms and principles of the Third Pillar to the conceptual and operational structures of Marxist Leninist states.

The conventional palette of remedial mechanisms available through or created from the UN Guiding Principles tends to be quite limited. This is not surprising given the organizing principles within which much of the discussion of remedy is undertaken. These include (1) the principle of a hierarchy of legitimacy that starts (and sometimes ends) with the judicial organs of states, (2( the principle of apex enterprise responsibility through which governance responsibility is devolved in and within apex corporations in global supply chains; (3) the principle that states are sources of law but that state sovereign immunity teds to reduce the culpability of states for human rights wrongs; and (4) the principle that legal norms ought to supersede social norms in determining the extent and character of remedy for individuals who are harmed by the human rights wrongs of states and enterprises. rough. The proposed session has the goal to explore the way that remedial mechanisms might be effectively deployed with real effect for local populations (rather than for their global defenders or the states whose judicial systems are invoked and through the invocation legitimated) in ways that augment the local control and character of remedial structures to those most affected thereby.

With these parameters in mind, our proposed session will aim to highlight a number of mechanisms that can be deployed on the ground by local populations to produce movement toward effective remedial responses that may be most relevant to them. To that end, a combination of short presentations, case studies and problems will be used to produce a session that both disseminates and produces knowledge among the members of the business community and governments, scholars, lawyers, and NGOs that are the objects of this session.

Key questions of proposed:

Through a multi-stakeholder dialogue, we will address the following questions:

(1) How the global language of the Third Pillar can be transposed to Marxist-Leninist contexts, and their transnational supply chains. Case studies: SOEs and human rights due diligence in Chinese enterprises operating in Africa

(2) How Big Data technologies and initiatives can be used as a grievance mechanism. Considering the use of social credit systems to create enterprise CSR credit systems

(3) How grievance and monitoring mechanisms originating from within Marxist-Leninist systems can be embedded in supply chains. Scenarios: (1) Working through the local Communist Party organs of enterprises; (2) empowering local labor council’s to serve as the focal point for mediating grievances and remedies.

(4) How state organs can contribute to the creation of transnational grievance mechanisms through the regulation of specific sectors

Each one of these question is a corollary to the overarching problem of how to adopt innovative approaches to improving the operational standards of global supply chains. While supply chains may disregard more conventional remedial mechanisms and solutions, the mechanisms and practices our panel will explore are already constraining the operation of MNCs and their supply chains. Thus, they can be the point of departure to develop remedies which are seen as coherent with established practices, and thus more easily complied with by concerned stakeholders.


No comments: