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Where can I file a complaint?

Each grievance mechanism has specific rules and procedures specifying how and where complaints can be submitted. It is important to follow these procedures, and to file the complaint at the appropriate office in order to prevent it from being dismissed on procedural grounds.


Although it is possible to file with more than one grievance mechanism, some mechanisms may put your complaint on hold if there are legal or other types of parallel proceedings concerning the same issue.

Depending on each mechanism’s implementation procedures, there may be one office or body dealing with all complaints, or there may be multiple offices, such as the National Contact Points (NCPs) for the OECD Guidelines. Each NCP deals with issues occurring in their country, or issues raised in connection to the worldwide activities and business relationships of enterprises domiciled in the NCP’s home country.

Where can I find help with filing a complaint?

The process of filing a complaint with some mechanisms can be demanding and complicated while others can be relatively easy and straightforward. SOMO has extensive experience in helping groups to prepare complaints. SOMO can help you to choose the most appropriate grievance mechanism, and help you to identify and understand the relevant social and environmental standards and principles that may apply. SOMO also provides support in identifying experts with specific expertise and experience with a particular grievance mechanism.

There are many other organisations with experience using grievance mechanisms that may be able to provide advice and support as well. Learn more...