The HCSA Grievance Mechanism (HCSA GM) outlines the process for ensuring a timely, independent, and effective resolution of complaints against its members for allegations of breaches of the HCSA Steering Group Code of Conduct or the application of the HCSA methodology.
It exists to escalate concerns that cannot be resolved between the relevant parties, or when the resolution proposed by the HCSA member is not recognized as a mutually agreed outcome by parties affected by the implementation of the HCS Approach.
The HCSA GM was developed to be in line with the UN Guiding Principle on Business and Human Rights, such as being accessible, predictable, equitable, transparent, provide for continuous learning and dialogue, and ‘rights-compliant’, meaning it should ensure outcomes and remedies accord with internationally recognised human rights.
The HCSA GM is intended to enable rapid escalation of the grievance with HCSA members in a way that: addresses problems; reaches agreement on procedures to resolve the grievance including via organization/companies own mechanisms or relevant judicial mechanisms; or avoids grievances escalating and becoming conflictual.
Who can raise a complaint ?
A Grievance Raiser is the presenter of a complaint and can be any individual or a collective (i.e., a business entity, union, a non-profit organization, or other stakeholder). More than one Grievance Raiser can join in the submission of a Complaint and a third party also may file a Complaint on behalf of others if clear evidence that they are authorized to do so is provided in writing.
How to submit a complaint ?
A Grievance Raiser may file a Complaint in the language of their choice in this online form or by downloading the HCSA GM Complaint Form and sending it to the HCSA Secretariat electronically or as a hard copy (details in the form).
The complaint process
The process for all complaints, from submission to closure, is described in the HCSA Grievance Mechanism document. The process is summarised in the figure below.
HCSA Grievance Cases
|Case Reference||Grievance Raiser||Defendant||Location||Status||Date Filed|
|HCSA-GM-2018-01||Milieudefensie, Sustainable Development Institute & Friends of the Earth USA||Golden Agri Resources (GAR)||Liberia||Active||21 Aug 2018|
HCSA Seeks Expression of Interest for Grievance Panel Members
When a complaint is received and accepted, an independent, three-person, ad hoc Grievance Panel is convened to process it. Grievance Panels act as the ultimate decision-makers of the HCSA GM.
HCSA is continuously seeking applications from experts possessing the necessary qualifications and experience to work as Grievance Panel members. Suitable candidates are shortlisted and later contacted by HCSA to form ad hoc Grievance Panels should complaints be submitted to the HCSA Secretariat.
For further information on the role and how to apply, please visit link.