Analysing community and NGO-led complaints concluded in 2023

Our State of Remedy report for complaints concluded in 2023 demonstrates the unique potential of National Contact Points (NCPs) to support access to remedy for corporate harms, but also that many NCPs are failing to fulfil their potential.

In 2023, a notable majority of concluded complaints were accepted by National Contact Points NCPs at the initial assessment stage. For almost two decades, OECD Watch has highlighted the unacceptably high rate of complaints rejected at this preliminary stage and the prohibitive barriers civil society faces during the case-handling process. OECD Watch is pleased with this outcome and hopes that NCPs will in the future continue to accept complaints at this stage of the process.

While NCPs facilitated only three agreements in 2023, two additional complaints resulted in positive developments outside the NCP process, including an agreement between the parties. It is also increasingly evident that certain NCPs are routinely using their expertise on the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises on Responsible Business Conduct (Guidelines) to issue determinations of (non-)compliance with the Guidelines and make recommendations to improve responsible business conduct (RBC) by companies in the future. If NCP guidance in complaints reflects a correct interpretation of the Guidelines, it can provide a useful reference point for the many governments moving to incorporate the Guidelines into mandatory due diligence and RBC legislation.

However, OECD Watch is deeply concerned that these positive developments are limited to a minority of NCPs – with most NCPs increasingly lagging behind their more effective counterparts. NCPs not meeting the expectations in the Procedures for NCPs in the Guidelines (formerly the Procedural Guidance) risk undermining the effectiveness of the entire NCP complaint system.

This paper sets out the key numbers for complaints concluded in 2023, remedy highlights and lowlights, as well as our main conclusions for improving NCP effectiveness in the coming decade. These conclusions reflect our key performance indicators of NCP effectiveness, which were updated in 2024.

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