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Handling and Resolving Local-level Concerns and Grievances: Human Rights in the Mining and Metals Sector

10 December 2019

This guidance sets out how mining and metals companies can handle and resolve local community grievances effectively, and in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). It also discusses the internal aspects of grievance management, based on lessons learned from ICMM members and other organisations and includes suggested considerations for adapting grievance mechanisms for different phases of the mining lifecycle.

  • Ensuring local communities have a voice and can raise any concerns they may have about activities taking place at the mine sites near to where they live is a core part of a mining company’s responsibility to respect human rights.
  • This guidance takes each of the eight effectiveness criteria set out in UNGP 31, in turn, and suggests practical ways in which an operation can design its mechanisms to ensure that it meets the criteria.
  • These criteria state that to be effective, a grievance mechanism should be legitimate, accessible, predictable, equitable, transparent, rights-compatible, a source of continuous learning and based on engagement and dialogue.
  • It also provides examples of good practices in reporting on grievance mechanisms and offers example key performance indicators for assessing grievance mechanisms, along with suggested approaches for interpreting and applying them for continuous improvement. The guidance draws on lessons learned from our company members and other stakeholders operating at site level.
  • This guidance is an updated version of ICMM’s 2009 guide.