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International Documents on Corporate Responsibility

Edited by Stephen Tully

International Documents on Corporate Responsibility includes the principal international, regional and national instruments drafted by intergovernmental organisations or states as well as codes of conduct formulated by industry associations, trade unions and non-governmental organisations. The coverage includes the fields of human rights, international criminal and environmental law, labour standards, international trade, armed conflict, sustainable development, corruption, consumer protection and corporate governance. Each document is accompanied by a brief explanatory commentary outlining the historical origins of the instrument, the principal actors involved, controversial negotiation issues, applicable implementation procedure, and identifies further reference material.
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Chapter 24: ILO: Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Works, 1998


24. ILO: Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, 1998 Commentary: The ILO is the constitutionally mandated organisation for establishing international labour standards ( These take the form of Conventions and Recommendations (available through index.htm). Conventions create legally binding obligations upon ratification by Member States whereas Recommendations are non-binding instruments providing guidance on policy, legislation and practice. The former may contemplate Members completing annual reports on the implementation measures adopted. The ILO’s distinctive tripartite nature means that national delegations are composed of two government representatives and one delegate each from national employer and worker organisations. Employers are represented by the International Organisation of Employers (IOE): see IOE (2000), ‘ILO Standards’, Position Paper, Geneva. See generally, UNCTAD–DTCI (1994), ‘World Investment Report 1994: TNCs, Employment and the Workplace’, UN Doc UNCTAD/DTCI/10. Employers’ and workers’ organisations may be consulted by governments at national levels on measures to give effect to ILO Conventions: see ILO Convention No 144 (1976) Concerning Tripartite Consultation to Promote the Implementation of International Labour Standards (entry into force 1978); ILO Recommendation No 113 (1960) concerning Consultation (Industrial and National Levels); ILO Recommendation No 152 (1976) concerning Tripartite Consultation (Activities of the ILO). See also, ILO Convention No 81 (1947) and Recommendation No 81 (1947) concerning Labour Inspection; Convention No 129 (1969) concerning Labour Inspection (Agriculture); and Convention No 135 (1971) concerning Workers’ Representatives. For academic commentary, see Johnson J.L. (1998), ‘Public–private–public convergence: how the private actor can shape public international labour standards’, Brooklyn Journal...

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