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Step 1: Consider filing a complaint

First and foremost, when considering a complaint, you should clearly identify the harm that has occurred and how one or more companies has contributed to or caused the harm.

There are many strategies available to address harmful corporate practices. Filing a complaint through a grievance mechanism is one of these strategies. Others are lawsuits, shareholder actions, public campaigns and media campaigns. It is important to always consider other strategies before filing a complaint with a grievance mechanism.

Some of the advantages and limitations of non-judicial grievance mechanisms are explained here. A complaint to a grievance mechanism can also be one of several strategies pursued simultaneously.

Some grievance mechanisms also address complaints about the likeliness of individuals and communities being harmed in the future. Keep in mind that non-judicial grievance mechanisms are not a substitute for taking legal action, and severe human rights abuses should still be taken to court whenever possible.


Step 2: Identify the entities causing or contributing to the harm

Step 3: Map the grievance mechanisms that may apply

Step 4: Identify your desired outcomes

Step 5: Choose the appropriate grievance mechanism

Step 6: Prepare for the complaint

Step 7: Write the complaint

Step 8: File the complaint

Step 9: Engage in the process

Step 10: Follow-up