Effective grievance mechanisms play an important role in identifying human rights violations for affected individuals. Lidl recognises ‘effective grievance mechanisms’ as defined by the UN Guiding Principles (UNGPs) on Business and Human Rights, meaning that they are legitimate, accessible, predictable, equitable, transparent, rights-compatible, a source of continuous learning and based on engagement and dialogue. Grievance mechanisms form part of our Supplier Code of Conduct and we firmly believe that when these are implemented effectively, human rights violations can be better identified and thereby remediated in a meaningful way.
Lidl has implemented a grievance mechanism via an online platform, available here, to enable any individual (whether they be connected to Lidl’s direct operations or its supply chain), to report human rights, social and environmental violations. All grievances are independently processed by the organisation’s compliance officer and the reporting system can be accessed via an internet-based application. The effectiveness of this mechanism is reviewed annually between the compliance and CSR departments.
We are also taking steps to implement grievance mechanisms within our supply chain. An aspect of our contribution of the Bangladesh Accord, a multi-stakeholder agreement designed to work towards a safe ready-made garment industry, includes active involvement with working groups aimed to develop an effective grievance mechanism for workers specifically in the textile supply chain in Bangladesh.
Similarly, through our position as a board member of the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) we are able to oversee the working group focussed around implementing and maintaining a grievance mechanism for people working within the palm oil industry.
By the end of 2021 we will enable access to effective grievance mechanisms and access to remedy (as defined by the UNGPs) in further identified high risk supply chains.