[Workshop] How effective are the OECD National Contact Points? Lessons from the Bralima case

03 April 2019
  • Starts at: 11:00h
  • Fee: Free
  • Venue: T.M.C. Asser Instituut
  • Organiser: T.M.C. Asser Instituut & International Institute of Social Studies/Erasmus School of Law (INFAR Project)
  • Address: R.J. Schimmelpennincklaan 20-22
    2517 JN The Hague

The U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights endorsed in 2011 by the U.N. Human Rights Council are structured around three pillars: the duty of the states to protect human rights, the responsibility of businesses to respect human rights, and access to remedy. Yet, the latter has been referred to as “the forgotten pillar”. Alleged victims of human rights violations linked to the activities of transnational corporations (TNCs) are often unable to access national courts to have their cases heard and currently few alternative types of remedies are available. In this context, the OECD National Contact Points (NCP) for the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises (OECD Guidelines) could offer a promising route to access remedies in business and human rights cases. This workshop (organised jointly by International Institute of Social Studies/Erasmus School of Law (INFAR Project) and the Asser Institute) aims to comprehensively explore this possibility and to flesh out under which conditions the NCPs could offer an effective access to remedy as envisaged by the UNGPs under principle 31.

To do so, we will first focus on dissecting the Bralima/Heineken instance, which is often presented as a success story by the OECD and the various sides involved. We seek to understand the underlying contextual and structural factors explaining why the case is widely perceived as a model NCP case. To do so, we will invite various actors involved in the case to tell theirside of the story and walk us through its successful completion. This case study will be complemented by a general discussion with academics and practitioners on the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of NCPs across the world. Based on these discussions, we hope to identify some of the key features that (would) support the capacity of NCPs to provide effective remedies.

For more information about this event please contact Dr. Antoine Duval (a.duval@asser.nl). 

11:00 – 12:30 Panel 1: The making of the Bralima success story (moderated by Dr. Kinnari Bhatt & Dr. Antoine Duval)

  • Maartje van Putten (Chair of the Dutch NCP)
  • Joseph Wilde (OECD Watch)
  • Channa Samkalden (Prakken d’Oliveira)
  • Obbe Siderius (Heineken)
  • John Namegabe Bugabo (ex Bralima worker) – via teleconference

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch at the Asser Institute

13:30 – 15:00 Panel 2: The effectiveness of NCPs beyond Bralima (moderated by Dr. Kinnari Bhatt & Dr. Antoine Duval)

  • Kathryn Dovey (OECD)
  • Joseph Wilde (OECD Watch)
  • Valentina Azarova (University of Manchester/GLAN)
  • Tim Cooke-Hurle (Doughty Street Chambers)