Statement supports the OECD Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct’s recent censure of reprisals against submitters of specific instances.

On 30 March 2020, the three institutional stakeholder advisors to the OECD Investment Committee issued the following joint statement:

“March 2020

Joint Statement

The three institutional stakeholders to the OECD Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct, Business at OECD (BIAC), Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC) and OECD Watch, jointly offer their support for the statement of the Working Party dated 13 March 2020 expressing deep concern regarding alleged incidents of pressure on some applicants submitting a specific instance to National Contact Points (NCPs). We reiterate the importance of a well-functioning NCP system. Pressuring submitters clearly undermines the functioning of the NCP system and the effectiveness of the Guidelines. There is strong agreement among the institutional stakeholders that no submitter filing a specific instance with an NCP should face repercussions for doing so. We urge the OECD Working Party to keep this issue on its agenda and stand ready to contribute constructively to future discussions.”

OECD Watch looks forward to engaging with its fellow stakeholders and the Working Party on future work on this issue. It urges the Working Party and individual NCPs to focus first and foremost on:

-Developing practical guidance for NCPs on responding to actual or potential reprisals in cases;
-Raising awareness of businesses through promotional activities about their own role in reprisals (whether active or passive) and the actions they can take to prevent and respond to them; and
-Collaborating with other international organizations and grievance mechanisms to maximize impact and coordinate policy and guidance on addressing reprisals.

For access to the statement of the OECD Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct:
-In English and
-In French

For access to the joint statement of the stakeholder advisors and recent research of OECD Watch and the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre on reprisals on the OECD Watch website:
Fact sheet and

For information on all complaints filed by communities and NGOs to NCPs:
OECD Watch case database