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Belgium

Action point 2

Prepare a brochure on grievance mechanisms related to public authority

Elaborer une brochure sur les mécanismes de réparation liés à l’autorité publique

This point states that the federal government will engage in a research mission to list all of the different state-based mechanisms (both judicial and non-judicial) that can be used in cases of human rights violations by companies or organizations (Belgian or foreign). The results of this research will be integrated into a readable, comprehensible and practical brochure that will be made available to stakeholders, both online and in print (limited). This brochure will focus on companies, organizations and victims of human rights violations. Both procedural and substantive aspects of these grievance mechanisms will be addressed and will be available in Dutch, French, German and English. Mediation procedures can be accessed through the OECD NCP, and different provisions included in the criminal law can be imposed through the Belgian courts, etc. However, many of these grievance mechanisms are insufficiently known about.

Action point 3

Recommendations for improving the access to a judicial grievance mechanism

Formulation de recommandations en vue d’améliorer l’accès à un mécanisme de reparation judiciaire

This point covers the issue of judicial remedy in a broad manner. Researchers will be asked to conduct an analysis to identify major obstacles and potential gaps and to formulate policy recommendations in a separate report. Competent administrations will analyze this report within the framework of the CIDD Working Group on Social Responsibility. Where appropriate, the Working Group will formulate a number of policy proposals and submit them to the political level. These policy recommendations may support the authority to make access to remedy as effective as possible for victims of human rights violations.

The NAP explains that “despite the existence of these mechanisms, in cases of human rights violations, more or less important obstacles can impede effective access to a grievance mechanism.” In addition to creating a brochure of existing redress mechanisms related to public authority (see Action point 2), the federal government will conduct an analysis that aims at identifying the possible limitations and/or defects of each mechanism, which may constitute an obstacle (legal, financial, procedural, administrative …) for the effective use of remedies. Researchers will be asked to conduct an analysis to identify major obstacles and potential gaps and to formulate policy recommendations in a separate report. Competent administrations will analyze this report within the framework of the CIDD Working Group on Social Responsibility. Where appropriate, the Working Group will formulate a number of policy proposals and submit them to the political level. These policy recommendations may support the authority to make access to remedy as effective as possible for victims of human rights violations.

Action point 5

Ensure the dissemination of the toolbox and brochure on grievance mechanisms among Belgian representatives abroad and raise awareness of the issue

Assurer la diffusion de la boîte à outils et de la brochure sur les mécanismes de réparation parmi les représentants belges à l’étranger et sensibiliser ceux-ci à la question

This pointlinks Action point 2 and 3 together. The action aims at raising awareness among the network of Belgian diplomacy on the issues of companies’ social responsibility, sustainable development and the problematic of human rights violations committed by companies operating abroad. They will receive a practical toolbox (Action point 3) to better inform companies who contact them with a wish to expand their activities abroad. The toolbox will also include elements on grievance mechanisms (based on Action 2), enabling the Belgian diplomatic network to better inform businesses, victims of possible violations and all other interested parties about the access to remedy in Belgium.

Action point 24

Pay special attention to the issue of children’s rights in awareness raising of enterprises

Accorder une attention particulière à la question des droits de l’enfant dans la sensibilisation des entreprises

This point briefly touches upon the issue of judicial remedy in one part of the planned engagements related to the prohibition of forced labour. The government will ratify the Protocol of 2014 to the ILO Convention on Forced Labor, which is a new legally binding instrument requiring States to take preventive, protective, remedial and redress measures by giving effect to the obligation contained in the Convention to suppress forced labour.

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