Part I – Rational Framework for the development, adoption and implementation of the NAP
1.5. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (pg. 14)
…From a human rights perspective, the 2011 revision is a fundamental step and, by opening up its scope, has particularly widened the access to remedies since currently the complaints addressed to National Contact Points (NCP) in OECD Member States cover about a quarter of violations on human rights.
The OECD Guidelines represent a comprehensive and global framework for the responsible management of companies, which cover all aspects including, in addition to human rights, labour law, the environment, transparency, the fight against corruption, consumer interest, competition, taxation and intellectual property. The OECD Guidelines are still the only instrument for an international approach to corporate social responsibility involving a mechanism – the NCPs network – to ensure its implementation.
The NCPs were established in 1984 and were strengthened in the revision of the Guidelines in 2000; since that date, their terms of reference have been clarified and expanded, and they have been accompanied by the establishment of a Code of Operation and Procedure (Procedural Guidance) to promote its effectiveness. The key role of NCPs was emphasized by Ministers at the 2017 OECD Council Meeting and was reiterated at their 2018 Meeting. The G20, in July 2017, also referred to the NCP Mechanism of the OECD as a platform for non-judicial resolution of conflicts. The NCP network is currently the only government mechanism for out-of-court conflict resolution. It provides stakeholders with a platform to address grievances arising during operations carried out by companies in or from Member States. The impact and influence of this instrument goes even further if we consider that the big companies of the industrialized countries, most of them member states of the OECD, have considerable power over non-Member States through the increasingly global network of supply chains and outsourcing and, therefore, have the ability to impose their standards. It is therefore essential, as part of a process such as the PAN, to measure its full scope and the precursory role.
The Luxembourg NCP for the implementation of the OECD Guiding Principles was, at its creation, an entity coordinated by the secretariat of the Economic Committee under the supervision of the Ministry of the Economy. As such, it could be assimilated to a structure tripartite to bring together trade union representatives, employers’ representatives as well as members of the government administration. In early 2018, the Luxembourg NCP has reviewed other NCPs and, in particular, relied on best practices to codify its rules of procedure and functioning, which have been officially published on its website, as well as an ad-hoc form in order to submit a complaint under the best conditions. A similar exercise is under way with regard to the structure of the Luxembourg NCP. The latter, however, must remain neutral and independent when informing and soliciting third parties and organizations on an ad hoc basis. The Luxembourg NCP can also rely on the contribution of other departments concerned more particularly by complaints relating to non-compliance Guiding Principles since it is expected to deal with complaints with the assistance of a interdepartmental support program involving the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.
In concrete terms, the Luxembourg NCP carries out the following tasks with a view to promote and implement the Guiding Principles:
- management of the internet page of the Luxembourg NCP;
- securing and handling of complaints (“specific instances”) submitted to the NCP;
- responding to inquiries from the public and domestic businesses;
- participation, support and initiatives to promote events and publications in Guiding Principles to the Public and National Enterprises;
- consultation, sharing and exchange of good practices with other NCPs as well as the Secretariat of the OECD;
- drafting the annual report to the OECD Investment Committee.