Section 1.0

Access to Remedy

Even though companies have tried to respect human rights and governments have also tried to protect and fulfill human rights, sometimes violations still occur. It is important for people whose rights are violated to have access to effective remedies.

Remedy can include apologies, restitution, rehabilitation, financial or non-financial compensation. and criminal or administrative sanctions, as well as prevention of losses through guarantees of not to be repeated. The procedure for the provisions of recovery must be impartial, protected from corruption and free from political effort or anything to influence the results.

Compensation means obtaining financial or non-financial compensation. Compensation can also be given by the state when the perpetrator is unable to provide full compensation.


Restitution is compensation that is given to victims or their families by perpetrators or third parties, in the form of returns on property, compensation payments for loss or suffering, or reimbursement of costs for certain actions.


Rehabilitation is the recovery of its original position, such as honor, good name, position, or other rights.

Section 1.1

Legal and Non-Legal Remedy

Access to remedy includes legal and non-legal remedies. Legal remedy provided by the states can be one of the options.

Non-legal or non-judicial remedy becomes an important component of the Business and Human Rights framework. A good non-legal recovery system has effective criteria for handling non-legal complaints. This mechanism can be provided by the government and the company. Another option is a joint grievance mechanism between companies and trade unions or multi-stakeholder forums. An example is a framework agreement for grievance handling mechanisms within the company or at the forum level in the industrial sector.

The remedial mechanism must meet the criteria below:

  1. Legitimate: trusted by the intended stakeholder group, and is responsible for fair conduct of the grievance process;
  2. Accessible: known to all targeted stakeholder groups, and provide sufficient assistance to those who face special obstacles to access;
  3. Predictable: provide a clear and known procedure with a period of time for each stage, and clarity about the types of processes and results available and ways of supervising implementation;
  4. Just: ensuring that the aggrieved party has adequate access to the sources of information, advice and expertise needed to be involved in a complaints process in a fair, respectful, and full of information;
  5. Transparent: make the complaining parties obtain information about the progress of their complaints, and provide sufficient information

Section 1.2

Advantages of grievance mechanisms for companies

Improving conditions when violations occur

Grievance mechanism corrects the situation when violations have occurred. With the existence of a system, companies can identify and respond to complaints promptly before violations become a big problem.

Early warning system

The grievance mechanism provides a choice to convey the concerns of workers, the surrounding community, suppliers, work partners and other parties. This mechanism helps avoiding conflict escalation to an expensive court case that harms the company’s reputation and finances. The company can identify stakeholder’s concerns and complaints before the public or workers take extreme measures such as strikes, demonstrations, or unilaterally stopping company operations.

Gather information for business strategies

A grievance mechanism can also be a valuable source of information regarding the development of a particular business unit or project. For example, a company can detect the risk of loss on a project when the number of complaints increases dramatically. Without a grievance mechanism, problems can already blow up before mitigation.

Showing the company’s goodwill to various stakeholders

An effective grievance mechanism proves to workers and other stakeholders that the company takes their complaints seriously. As such, this shows good faith and positive behavior for the company’s stakeholders.


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  •  INFID, “Kertas Kebijakan: Menuju Implementasi Prinsip-Prinsip Panduan PBB tentang Bisnis dan HAM di Indonesia, 2018.
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