The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (‘the Guidelines’) are government-backed recommendations to enterprises regarding responsible business conduct in their worldwide operations. The Guidelines cover a range of topics, including human rights, employment, environment, disclosure, corruption and taxation. This OECD Watch ‘Guide to the Guidelines’ is designed to help individuals, communities, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) and trade unions that have been negatively affected by corporate behaviour and that wish to address the alleged misconduct on their own behalf, or on behalf of another affected party. The dispute resolution mechanism – which is a key feature of the Guidelines – is an instrument that stakeholders can use to address harmful corporate practices that have affected them and to seek remedy.
This guide provides readers with a better understanding of the key provisions in the Guidelines and their relevance to corporate behaviour and the possibilities for confronting negative effects of corporate misconduct. The guide is intended to help readers understand how the dispute resolution mechanism (also referred to as the complaint process) works, including the function of National Contact Points (NCPs). An NCP is a national government office responsible for promoting adherence to the Guidelines and dealing with complaints regarding corporate misconduct. Additionally, this will help its readers to use the OECD Guidelines in their work and equip them with practical suggestions and examples of how to write a complaint themselves.
Before developing the above guide, OECD Watch published a brochure titled "The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises: A tool for responsible business conduct". This brochure provides an overview of the OECD Guidelines and the associated complaint mechanism. As such, it constitutes a compact version of the guide introduced above. This brochure was published in seven languages: Spanish, French, English, Korean, Bahasa Indonesia, Mongolian and Portuguese.