Remediation related to children's rights
In cases where a company identifies that it may have caused or contributed to adverse impacts on children’s rights, it should provide for or cooperate in the remediation through legitimate processes, including operational-level grievance mechanisms. In many situations, courts may not be accessible, functioning or effective agents of justice. Even in those states where judicial systems provide reasonable or good due process, services may still be financially inaccessible or so time-consuming as to make remedies too late to be of use. These barriers are even more formidable for children. In line with the Guiding Principles, an ‘adequate’ mechanism should conform to principles of legitimacy, accessibility, predictability, equitability, transparency and compatibility with rights, as well as be a source of continuous learning and based on engagement and dialogue where your business itself administers the mechanism.
As your company develops its complaint mechanisms and processes for remedy, it is crucial to make these mechanisms accessible to children. Companies may want to call on local youth clubs or NGOs working on children’s rights to explain to children how the grievance mechanism works in a manner that is understandable to them. Children should not be refused access or turned away in favour of a grievance filed by their parents. Like others in the community, they should be protected from retaliation.
As an alternative or in addition, you need to make sure that children and young persons are assisted in reporting any allegations by a person who is trained to speak with children, and that children’s safety, identity and privacy are protected throughout to ensure that they do not experience reprisals from the offender or others. Consult children, professionals working with children and NGOs working on children’s rights to ensure that responses proposed to address grievances are appropriate.