OHCHR Accountability and Remedy Project II: Enhancing effectiveness of State-based non-judicial mechanisms in cases of business-related human rights abuse
Focus of the report:
State-based non-judicial grievance mechanisms
, including but not limited to:
- OECD National Contact Points
- National human rights institutions
- Labour inspectorates
- Employment tribunals
- Consumer protection bodies
- Environmental tribunals
- Privacy and data protection bodies
- Public health and safety bodies
- Professional standards bodies
The OHCHR Accountability and Remedy Project (ARP) began in 2014 with the aim of delivering credible and workable recommendations for enhancing accountability and access to remedy in cases of business-related human rights abuse (background on each phase of ARP).
The second phase of the project (ARP II) began in response to a mandate from the Human Rights Council in
resolution 32/10 (June 2016) requesting OHCHR:
“to identify and analyse lessons learned, best practices, challenges and possibilities to improve the effectiveness of
State-based non-judicial mechanisms that are relevant for the respect by business enterprises for human rights, including in a cross-border context, and to submit a report thereon to be considered by the Council at its thirty-eighth session.”
Over the course of 2016-2018, and following
ARP’s multi-stakeholder, consultative methodology, OHCHR developed numerous papers regarding the role and effectiveness State-based non-judicial mechanisms, including a
project scoping paper,
discussion paper, and
At the Human Rights Council’s thirty-eighth session in June 2018, OHCHR presented
the ARP II final report and its
explanatory addendum (see
how to read an ARP report). These documents contain:
observations regarding State-based non-judicial mechanisms (in the
- a series of
recommended actions for improving the effectiveness of these mechanisms, drawing upon good-practice lessons uncovered during the two-year project (in the
annex of the report);
explanations and context for these recommendations (found in the
model terms of reference States can use to review the scope, functions and effectiveness of relevant non-judicial mechanisms (found in the
Follow-up work on ARP II is currently being conducted through
the fourth phase of the project (ARP IV).
For any questions or comments regarding the ARP II work, please contact
The Guiding Principles recognize that while effective judicial mechanisms are “at the core of ensuring access to remedy,” administrative, legislative, and other non-judicial mechanisms play an essential role in complementing and supplementing judicial mechanisms. However, in many cases these mechanisms are not yet fulfilling the role envisaged for them in the UNGPs.
State-based non-judicial mechanisms may take many different forms and can be found at all levels of government (local, regional, and national). There is great diversity in their mandates, originating regimes, sources of authority, functions, and powers.
Haphazard legal and institutional development in some jurisdictions has led to unevenness and gaps in the extent to which different human rights are protected through these mechanisms. Particularly in a serious or complex case, it can be difficult to identify a mechanism (or combination of mechanisms) with a sufficiently broad mandate to address the case in its entirety; responses can therefore be fragmented, and remedial outcomes may not meet international standards.
There is a need for a greater understanding of (1) the importance of State-based non-judicial mechanisms in meeting States’ duty to protect, and (2) the contribution of such mechanisms as part of a comprehensive State-based accountability and remedy system.
The recommendation actions found in
the annex of the ARP II report focus on the steps that States can take to improve the effectiveness of State-based non-judicial mechanisms, at both the systemic and individual levels.
Events, Meetings, Etc.
This section includes select events and other types of meetings in which OHCHR took part, and which can be made public. This list is not exhaustive, nor is it representative of the geographic reach of the project, which was global in nature (see
ARP II Discussion Paper, pp. 7-8, 27-30 for details on the ARP II methodology).
OHCHR is actively seeking to participate in events related to accountability and access to remedy for business-related human rights abuse. If you would like to notify the ARP team of, or invite us to, relevant events, or propose organizing an event with us, please contact
OHCHR Multi-Stakeholder Expert Meeting
28-29 March 2018
OHCHR Consultation with States
22-23 February 2018
Session at the 2017 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights
Webinar on business perspectives on the role of State-based NJMs
12 September 2017
OHCHR Multi-Stakeholder Expert Meeting
19-20 January 2017
Session at the 2016 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights
The following questionnaires were made available to solicit input into the ARP II report.
Phases of the Accountability and Remedy Project
For background on the greater Accountability and Remedy Project, consult the
ARP background page. For information on specific phases: