Extractives

Raising Awareness in Brazil of the OECD Guidelines and National Contact Points

24 March 2014

Conference Report Workshops on the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises in Brazil

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (the “OECD Guidelines”) are the most comprehensive set of government-backed recommendations on responsible business conduct.

Adhering governments make the commitment to establish a National Contact Point (“NCP”), which play a unique role of providing a grievance and mediation mechanism, contributing to the resolution of issues that arise from the alleged non-observance of the OECD Guidelines in specific instances.

The NCPs also further the effectiveness of the OECD Guidelines by undertaking promotional activities and handling enquiries. The Guidelines aim to encourage the positive contributions businesses can make to sustainable development while minimising the negative impacts of their operations and their business relationships. The 2011 revision to the OECD Guidelines includes an entirely new chapter on human rights that builds on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights2 and strengthens the possibility of bringing complaints for mediation to NCPs established pursuant to the OECD Guidelines.

The Brazilian, Norwegian and UK NCPs have established a productive collaboration to exchange and learn from each other’s experiences, as encouraged by the OECD Guidelines’ Implementation Procedures. These joint meetings also provide an opportunity for NCPs to understand the practices and challenges in other OECD markets where MNEs from their own country may be operating. In 2013, the three NCPs held an awareness raising workshop in Brasilia with various actors, including government, business, trade unions and academia. This year, the Brazilian NCP decided to focus on an awareness-raising event targeted at business.

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