Criteria for Assessing Whether to Provide Strategic Case Support (SCS)

For cases of corporate human rights abuse, decisions as to whether the Corporate Accountability Working Group (CAWG) provides SCS to ESCR-Net members is determined by:

  • Presence of Grave Human Rights Abuse: The CAWG assigns the highest degree of priority to cases that involve, or are likely to involve, grave human rights abuses.
  • Existing Level of International Support: The CAWG looks to provide support in cases where there is an absence of a significant level of assistance already being provided.  However, after analyzing the types of support that are being provided, CAWG may still provide SCS in cases that already have significant levels of support where there is clear value in contributing the specific skills that the CAWG can offer.
  • Skills & Capacity of the CAWG: Each request for SCS is assessed on its merits.  Whether the CAWG can assist will depend on whether the skills required to meet the request are present within the CAWG, or can be accessed by engaging our Network allies.  Secondly, the CAWG’s capacity to respond to the situation is a significant factor in the decision making process.  In cases where the CAWG is unable to respond due to capacity constraints, the group(s) seeking assistance will be asked if they would like their request forwarded to suitable trusted allies of the Network.
  • Strategic Value to the Corporate Accountability Movement: Notwithstanding the presence of grave human rights abuses, whether support provided by the CAWG has the potential to bring about wider positive progress to the broader corporate accountability movement is an important consideration.  Groups seeking support are expected to demonstrate how the support for the case in question can contribute in this way.

Each criterion for assessing the suitability of providing SCS is not determinative, in that if one criterion is not met, this will not necessarily mean SCS will not be provided.

NB: Urgent Actions – System of Solidarity & Support: Any request for SCS which concerns imminent or current abuses of human rights defenders, or threats of imminent human rights violations, should first be handled under ESCR-Net’s System of Solidarity (SOS) procedure, before consideration by the CAWG for SCS. The SOS procedure can be accessed through the SOS website:  or by contacting tgelbspan[at] 

Engaging the CAWG to Request Strategic Case Support (SCS)

Follow the steps below if you would like to apply to the CAWG to receive SCS:

  1. Contact the Coordinator of the CAWG: All requests for SCS are to be directed initially to the Coordinator of the CAWG.  Contact the Coordinator by emailing: drenfrey[at]
  2. Clearly define the exact objectives of the SCS, and the needs required from the CAWG to meet these objectives: Please state very clearly what exactly is required of the CAWG.  For example, if you are seeking assistance on how to access a complaint mechanism of a financial institution, and whether you need a lawyer to develop your complaint, please put these objectives for the SCS, and the associated needs, clearly at the top of your request for SCS. 
  3. Provide a summary (or similar information) about the case: Please include in your communication to the Coordinator of the CAWG a summary of the case that contains as much of the following information as possible, including:
    • The name of your organization and contact details for at least two relevant people
    • The name and location of the community or communities involved in the case
    • The name of the company involved
    • The nationality of the company involved
    • If possible, the name and nationality of the bank or institutions financing the company (i.e. World Bank, Asian Development Bank, China Import Export Bank, etc)
    • Specific information about the types of human rights/environmental abuses that people affected by the company (or companies) are currently facing, or are likely to face
    • Any information about what steps have been taken to contact the company or Government to have the situation resolved (e.g. litigation, letters to the company/Government, blockades or protests against the company operation, etc).
    • The name and contact details of any other organizations that you have asked for assistance from, or who are currently assisting you with the case

If you have any materials that provide additional information about any or all of the main points above (such as copies of media stories or UN reports about the case), please attach these in your communication to the Coordinator of the CAWG.

4. The CAWG Coordinator will contact you: The Coordinator of the CAWG will contact you once information about the case has been received. If you have not included a summary of the case in your first communication the Coordinator will reply to you asking for this information.  A summary of the case allows the CAWG to quickly assess whether it is suitable to provide SCS, and also helps locate assistance from our Network allies.

Once the Coordinator has received a summary of the case, contact will be made to discuss the case with you in detail.  The Coordinator will then make a preliminary assessment of whether the CAWG should be approached to seek SCS.  In cases where the Coordinator feels your case is not suitable for SCS, the Coordinator will do everything feasible to connect you with systems of support offered by individual ESCR-Net members, or other relevant allies of the Network.

5. Assessment whether the CAWG provides SCS: After consultation with you about the case, if the Coordinator of the CAWG believes the case might be suitable for receiving SCS, the material you provided will be forwarded to the CAWG for their consideration, and also to the Steering Committee of the CAWG.  The CAWG members will be asked to refer to the ‘Criteria for Assessing Whether to Provide Strategic Case Support’ (see above) to decide formally whether your case is suitable for SCS.

The Coordinator provides 14 days for the CAWG to provide feedback on the request for SCS.  In this time the Coordinator will also seek any views from the Steering Committee of the CAWG.  Once the 14 days have passed, the Coordinator will provide a response to you from the CAWG.