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What are National Contact Points for Responsible Business Conduct ?

 

All 50 governments adhering to the OECD Guidelines have the legal obligation to set up an NCP with the role of ‘furthering the effectiveness of the Guidelines’. Over time, NCPs’ role and scope have evolved: when they were established in 1984, NCPs were primarily responsible for promoting the Guidelines and responding to enquiries. In 2000, NCPs were given the role of fostering solutions in relation to issues emerging from the implementation of the Guidelines by companies. They have embraced this role, establishing themselves firmly as remedy mechanisms and offering a unique dialogue platform.

 

Today, NCPs make up a network and a community of practitioners, dealing with a wide array of impacts involving companies either through their operations or their supply chains. To deliver on this broad mandate, governments have the flexibility to organise their NCP in the form and structure they deem most appropriate. While there is no prescribed model, NCPs must operate in accordance with a number of ‘core criteria’, namely visibility, accessibility, transparency and accountability. In addition, NCPs must handle cases in a way that is impartial, predictable, equitable and compatible with the Guidelines.

 

Find out more about NCPs’ structures and activities.

Listen to podcast on the role of NCPs

 

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20 years of NCP logo

The year 2020 marked the 20th anniversary of the mandate to NCPs for RBC to act a a grievance mechanisms under the OECD Guidelines. The report Providing access to remedy - 20 years and the road ahead takes stock of NCP's contribution to access to remedy for RBC impacts over that period.

 

            Find out more about this important milestone

  

  

 

The role of NCPs is twofold

 

1. Promotion of the Guidelines and policy coherence

In order for companies and stakeholders to be aware of what the expectations of adhering governments are as set out in the Guidelines, NCPs are required to promote the Guidelines, along with the sector-specific and general due diligence guidance.


Part of this mandate also involves promoting the Guidelines within the government and among agencies and ensuring ‘policy coherence’, i.e. that the Guidelines are considered and supported by relevant domestic policy developments. NCPs have increasingly also taken on a more prominent role in terms of their involvement in RBC-related policies, such as National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights but also in their role providing responses to enquiries on various regulatory developments relevant to RBC.

 

 

2. Handling cases related to the Guidelines

Over the past twenty years, NCPs have made a distinctive contribution to remedy by providing access to non- adversarial means to facilitate the resolution of issues related to the implementation of the Guidelines by companies. To this day, NCPs have collectively handled close to 600 cases addressing a wide variety of business impacts.


Cases whereby NCPs provide access to remedy are known as ‘specific instances’. The specific instance process is governed by a ‘Procedural Guidance’ attached to the Guidelines and is designed to be simple and flexible.


Find out more about the specific instance process

 

 

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