How to Report Grievances
Escalation of conflict and violence, may stem from a range of issues or tensions between groups or individuals. These may start as anger over underlying issues such as unemployment, to environmental degradation, or insecurity, causing tension between community members and the company or government. One way to resolve issues constructively, is to utilize the grievance mechanisms available among the stakeholders.
Many companies will have their own grievance mechanisms, as will traditional leaders within communities, and local and national governments. Every context will be different, but here are some questions to consider when seeking a process to address grievances.
- Who do community members first report issues or grievances to? Many communities will report issues to the Chief, Local Assembly person or Opinion Leader.
- How do these grievances get escalated? Often Chiefs or Opinion Leaders will escalate these issues to the company representative or Local Assembly person.
- Who is the Local Assembly person, or political representative?
- Who are the NGOs in the area?
- What are the formal processes once the grievance has been reported? e.g. is there an investigation, how are the local authorities involved?
- Does the company have a process in place for community members (and employees) to report issues or grievances?
- How and where can community members go to register their issues?
- How do they investigate these reports?
- If there is an abuse by security forces, how does the company report and monitor this allegation to the authorities?
- Is there any follow up after the grievance mechanism is concluded?
- How do the local government representatives work with community to resolve grievances?
- Where is the nearest Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) office?