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26 February 2024

Complaints Resolution Mechanisms (CMs) are central tools to ensure that companies actually implement their obligations stipulated by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and other relevant human rights provisions. Since 2015, ASI has had its own CM that aggrieved persons can use in respect to ASI’s standards-setting processes, certification program, auditor conduct and ASI policies and procedures. In February 2024, the ASI Board adopted a revised fourth version of the ASI CM.

Complaints Resolution Mechanisms (CMs) are important for affected persons to gain access to effective remedy. They are used to promote dialogue and resolve disputes between the parties. CMs serve as important channel for communications to identify problems and decide on the appropriate remedy. 

ASI published its updated CM following a half-a-year of thorough review. Internal and external lawyers examined the previous version with a fresh look and redrafted it in continuous exchange with relevant ASI staff and the Board. After the draft revision was prepared, ASI had it reviewed by members of the Indigenous Peoples Advisory Forum and international experts on complaints mechanisms. 

The main changes in the new version include clarification on the parties and grounds of a complaint; a rehaul of the claims management, investigation and decision-making process; the inclusion of registered specialists; the creation of a separate whistleblowing policy; emphasising the role of dialogue; and a wide range of enhancements and updates for clarity, consistency and accessibility.

“Very impressive and thoughtful – that’s the big comment” replied a leading expert on business and human rights who was asked to comment on the final draft. ASI is grateful for this comment and hopes the CM will be used in the future.  Several complaints received in 2023 have been published on the ASI website:

The revision of the CM could also serve as an inspiration to ASI member companies to revise their own CM. For the ASI Performance Standard determines that ASI Members must implement a Complaints Resolution Mechanism that fulfils the effectiveness criteria of the UN Guiding Principles. They also must review it every five years and publicly disclose their latest version. For more information, see criterion 3.4. of the Performance Standard. 

The ASI Complaints Mechanism aims to ensure the fair, timely and objective resolution of complaints relating to ASI’s standards setting processes, Certification program, auditor conduct and ASI policies and procedures.


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