Evaluating Non-Judicial Redress Mechanisms Reports Launch

 Dr Shelley Marshall fielding questions to the speakers.

Dr Shelley Marshall fielding questions to the speakers.

On Monday 24th of October, 17 reports authored by the Non-Judicial Human Rights Redress Mechanisms Project were launched.  The focus was on the Australian report which outlines a number of recommendations for the Australian Government.
The event was an opportunity to present the key findings and celebrate years of hard work conducting field work and analysing data.

Three speakers from government, business and civil society commented on the reports: 

Kevin Playford
Director, Human Rights and Indigenous Issues Section, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Bruce Harvey
Director, Adjunct Professor and Consultant, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining and Resolution 88

Rachel Ball
Director of Advocacy, Human Rights Law Centre

 

About the reports

A team of researchers from Australia, led by Dr Kate Macdonald and Dr Shelley Marshall,  released reports on research into non-judicial redress mechanisms. The five-year investigation involves multinationals from the UK, Australia and Korea with supply chain and financing connections across the globe. The research examines the response to human rights violations that occurred in India and Indonesia and the role played by these mechanisms in that response.

10 detailed case study reports examine individual harms in mining, agribusiness and textile clothing and footwear. Four reports provide specific lessons for the United Kingdom, Australia, the United Nations and civil society. Five reports specifically examine the role played by international and intergovernmental non judicial mechanisms (specifically the International Finance Corporation Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (IFC CAO) and the National Contact Point initiative of the OECD) as well as three multi-stakeholder initiatives that provide avenues for redress (the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), and the Freedom of Association Protocol and Indonesian based multi-stakeholder initiative with links to major sportswear brands.

These reports provide a complex and detailed analysis of the role played by these mechanisms. The research demonstrates the critical importance of detailed empirical research in both home (e.g. the UK and Australia) and host countries (India and Indonesia) in understanding whether and how these mechanisms were used. They show not only the deficiencies of the mechanisms but how they might be strengthened to ensure more effective accountability. More specifically, the research as a whole highlights the importance of understanding how international non-judicial mechanisms intersect with host country (i.e. Indian and Indonesian) mechanisms, local laws and local forms of political organising. Access to different mechanisms of accountability, including but not limited to non- judicial approaches, hold the potential to provide the necessary leverage for redress.