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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 33: ILO: Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, 2001


Commentary: In 1972 the International Labour Conference became concerned by the social problems raised by MNEs, and convened a tripartite meeting of experts to ‘explore and submit recommendations to the Governing Body on the desirability and possible scope of ILO action in this area’. In 1976 a Tripartite Advisory Meeting on the Relationship of MNEs and Social Policy reviewed the ILO research programme. The resulting Tripartite Declaration was adopted in 1977 with a second edition issued in 1991. The third edition (OB Vol LXXXIII, 2000, Series A, No 3; extracted below with footnotes omitted) was updated to include the 1998 ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work: see ILO, ‘Updating of references annexed to the Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning MNEs and Social Policy’, Doc GB.277/MNE/3 (2000). Drawing upon relevant principles in ILO Conventions and Recommendations (see Annex One), the Declaration calls for voluntary commitments in the areas of development policy, rights at work, employment, training, conditions of work and life and industrial relations: ILO, ‘A Guide to the Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning MNEs and Social Policy, Knowing and Using Universal Guidelines for Social Responsibility’, Geneva, 2002. Since 1985, quadrennial surveys have been issued to governments and employers’ and workers’ organisations to monitor the effect given to the instrument. Following the fifth survey in 1990, questionnaires were sent to employers’ and workers’ organisations and their periodicity adjusted from three to four years. The Seventh Survey covers the 1996–99 period: see Summary of Reports (ILO Doc GB.280/MNE/1/2)...

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