OECD Watch Mission:
OECD Watch is an international network of NGO’s promoting corporate accountability. The purpose of OECD Watch is to inform the wider NGO community about policies and activities of the OECD’s Investment Committee and to test the effectiveness of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
The Jus Semper global alliance is a member of OECD Watch. We believe that despite the fact that the OECD Guidelines for transnational corporations and other business enterprises, as could be expected, openly avoid addressing, and much less including, the issue of a living wage standard, they constitute the best "soft law" for business practices currently available.
Furthermore, the fact that the "guidelines" provide the National Contact Points (NCPs), and since 2000, allow civil society to use the NCPs to file complaints against corporations contravening the guidelines, provides in turn a minimal degree of accountability of corporate activity before civil society. This constitutes in itself an exception to the rule currently enjoyed by corporations of roaming the world with virtual impunity to exploit the human and natural resources of nations, typically with the customary and enthusiastic cooperation of many governments in the South.
The OECD ‘Guidelines are a government-endorsed set of voluntary principles and standards for responsible corporate conduct. OECD and non-OECD governments that have endorsed the Guidelines have an obligation to set up a ‘National Contact Point’ (NCP) to promote adherence to the Guidelines by multinational companies. The NCPs are government offices established to promote multinational companies’ adherence to the Guidelines. NCPs are also responsible for handling ‘specific instances’ that are raised by complainants when companies’ investment- related activities are alleged to contravene the Guidelines’ principles and standards.
OECD Watch is a painstaking effort to harness corporate activity and force it to conform to the OECD Guidelines. This is a critical and valuable work on behalf of civil society, particularly, when most governments have shown little interest in demanding that corporations align their operational practices to the Guidelines.
In this way, in the first five years since 2000, civil society filed 45 complaints through the NCPs against an array of corporations. Six months later, more than a 100 complaints had been filed by civil society. OECD Watch continues to promote the use of the NCPs; and, even more importantly, it has prepared specific assessments and concrete proposal to improve the effectiveness of the Guidelines, both for civil society organisations as well as for socially responsible investors (SRIs).
Below are some of the most recent and relevant papers published, which you can download in pdf form.