Grievance Mechanisms

The following grievance mechanisms are currently in place:

The Human Rights Centres:

These are subsidiary offices which are run by community monitors, who are appointed by the communities themselves. They represent the central office of mechanisms in place in the different target areas of the Salonga landscape;

The Office of the Complaints and Recourse Management Mechanism:

This constitutes the central office located in Monkoto, through which claims or complaints from the communities are brought to the Managing Director and/or human rights experts;

Electronic means (mobile phone):

This involves another channel through which claims and complaints from communities can be received by the central office of the mechanisms.

In these specific cases, two factors can favour the improvement of the grievance mechanisms that exist:

1. The extension of human rights centres: these centres should be extended to reflect the scale of the group, to improve the proximity between the complaint mechanism and the communities making said complaints. It is also a means of facilitating the rapid transmission of information;

2. Improved mobile network coverage: given the remoteness of some areas from the central office of the mechanism and human rights centres, some information is received through telephone calls. As a result, network coverage must be installed, in other cases improved, in order to allow complaints and/or complaints from communities to reach the office of the mechanism, particularly electronically.

How will the grievance mechanisms be managed?

At a global level, complaints mechanisms are managed and coordinated by the Complaints and Recourse Management Mechanism Manager, who is established and installed in Monkoto’s central office, assisted by human rights experts.

The human rights centres, which consist of subsidiary offices of the mechanism as mentioned above, are led by community monitors, persons of trust elected or designated by the members of the community.

Claims or complaints from communities that are submitted electronically are managed either directly by the central office or indirectly by the human rights centres, which are required to transmit the information to the central level as soon as possible, with a view to be dealt with and solutions provided.

An explanation on the importance of the cultural sensitivity of grievance mechanisms:

The cultural sensitivity of grievance mechanisms is of great importance, insofar as it promotes the relationship with and support of local communities & indigenous peoples towards the success of the mechanism put in place.

This is due to the consideration of their cultural ways in the establishment of grievance mechanisms, and in the process of handling their complaints or claims. This calls for the existence of a culturally accessible, acceptable, and adapted device which allows them to express themselves freely.

Photograph by Simon Hoyte.