A review of the OECD Guidelines and National Contact Points

The Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (Guidelines) are a set of voluntary principles and standards adopted by governments to which multinational enterprises operating in or from Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries are expected to adhere.

In 2000, the Guidelines were revised. After lengthy negotiations, a new implementation mechanism was agreed giving nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) for the first time the right to submit complaints concerning the activities of companies to OECD member and adhering countries’ National Contact Points (NCPs). NCPs are government offices established to promote multinational companies’ adherence to the Guidelines. Over the past five years, NGOs have submitted over 45 complaints to NCPs, and the number is steadily rising. According to the OECD, by June 2005, over 100 complaints had been filed by NGOs and trade unions since the Guidelines were revised.

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publication cover - OECD Watch – Five Years On