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Guiding Principle 22

Where business enterprises identify that they have caused or contributed to adverse impacts, they should provide for or cooperate in their remediation through legitimate processes.

Commentary

Even with the best policies and practices, a business enterprise may cause or contribute to an adverse human rights impact that it has not foreseen or been able to prevent.

Where a business enterprise identifies such a situation, whether through its human rights due diligence process or other means, its responsibility to respect human rights requires active engagement in remediation, by itself or in cooperation with other actors. Operational-level grievance mechanisms for those potentially impacted by the business enterprise’s activities can be one effective means of enabling remediation when they meet certain core criteria, as set out in Principle 31.

Where adverse impacts have occurred that the business enterprise has not caused or contributed to, but which are directly linked to its operations,  products or services by a business relationship, the responsibility to respect human rights does not require that the enterprise itself provide for remediation, though it may take a role in doing so.

Some situations, in particular where crimes are alleged, typically will require cooperation with judicial mechanisms.

Further guidance on mechanisms through which remediation may be sought, including where allegations of adverse human rights impacts are contested, is included in chapter III on access to remedy.

What National Action Plans say on Guiding Principle 22