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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 45: Additional initiatives


i. The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions/International Trade Secretariat: Basic Code of Labour Practice, 1997 Commentary: This Code was developed by the ICFTU/ITS Working Party on Multinational Companies in consultation with trade union organisations and other interested individuals or organisations prior to final adoption by the ICFTU Executive Board ( Its scope of application extends to the labour practices of corporate contractors, subcontractors, principal suppliers, licensees and franchise holders involved in producing and/or distributing goods or services. The Code is a standard-form template enabling individual corporations to commit to freely chosen employment, non-discrimination, avoiding child labour, respecting freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, paying living wages, non-excessive working hours, decent working conditions and appropriate employment relationships. The Code contemplates inspections, record-keeping and losing business in the event of violations. See also, ICFTU, ‘Charter of Trade Union Demands for the Legislative Control of MNCs’, ICFTU Doc D/1976/0403/13. ii. US Department of Labour Apparel Industry Partnership: Workplace Code of Conduct and Principles of Monitoring, 1997 Commentary: The AIP ( guide/apparell.htm) aims to implement higher labour standards within supply chain contractors. The Code of Conduct prohibits forced and child labour, harassment or abuse and discrimination. Consistent with applicable local law, employers must provide safe and healthy working environments, recognise freedom of association and collective bargaining, pay minimum wages, require less than 48 hours per week and compensate overtime. The Principles of Monitoring require companies to establish clear standards, create informed workplaces, develop information databases, establish training programmes and provide...

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