MNEs contributors to creation of employment

The ILO should provide specific guidance to enterprises to promote responsible workplace practices along their supply chains, including through the use of the MNE Declaration. This would include the integration of the concept of decent work, the role of employers and workers organisations, and the importance of workers rights and the business case for sustainable practices into broader enterprise development programs."

ILO; The promotion of sustainable enterprises, 2007

Multinational enterprises are the principal drivers of globalization and through their investment bring substantial benefits to the working and living conditions of millions of people worldwide. Therefore, they have a vital role to play in promoting economic and social progress.

Today, businesses increasingly demand adherence to internationally-accepted labour standards and principles in their operations including in their value chains. These standards and principles underscore the policies that deliver productivity, and encourage companies to operate in a socially responsible manner.

The ILO Tripartite Declaration on Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (MNE Declaration) , first adopted in 1977, is built on the realisation of the contribution that MNEs make to economic and social development in countries where they operate or source from. It contains recommendations for enterprises as well as for governments and employers’ and workers’ organizations on how they should apply the principles deriving from ILO Conventions and Recommendations.

Rooted in social dialogue at the international and national levels , the MNE Declaration:

  • Sets core labour principles and promotes effective practices for both multinational and domestic enterprises in the areas of employment, skills training, conditions of work and life, and industrial relations.
  • Recognizes the complementary responsibility of governments and trade unions in promoting good social practices.
  • Is the only international instrument on socially responsible business practices that has been agreed to by governments and representatives of workers’ and employers’ organizations.

During its 30 years, the MNE Declaration has increased its relevance in an ever increasingly globalized world, providing guidance for conduct of multinational enterprises.

What's new

  1. InFocus Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility, During the March 2009 Governing Body

    08 March 2009 to 20 March 2009 - ILO - Geneve, Switzerland

  2. The labour Principles of the United Nations Global Compact – A Guide for Business

    16 December 2008

    As the first publication of the newly-established UN Global Compact Labour Working Group, this Guide aims at helping companies understand and apply the four labour principles into practice (UNGC principles 3-6). In a question and answer format, this Guide provides a brief description of each of the four Global Compact labour principles, and also provides practical guidance on what companies can do to respect, promote, and realise them. It also contains an inventory of key ILO resources that will help companies realise the labour principles.

  3. Turin training course on "Promoting the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (ILO MNE Declaration)”

    11 February 2009 to 13 February 2009 - Turin, Italy

  4. Implementing Labour Standards through Corporate Social Responsibility: tools and strategies

    30 August 2010 to 03 September 2010 - International Training Centre of the ILO (ITC-ILO), Turin, Italy

Key Resources

  1. A Perspective from the MNE Declaration to the Present: Mistakes, Surprises, and Newly Important Policy Implications - Working Paper No.11

    01 November 2007

    Our understanding of the impact of MNEs has deepened considerably since the early days of the MNE Declaration. This is why, on occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the MNE Declaration, the International Labour Office would like to increase the knowledge base on the impact of multinational enterprises on host and home countries and about the policies that have worked to encourage the positive contribution of multinational enterprises to economic and social progress in different sectors and to minimize potential difficulties. To this end, the Office will commission a series of papers by renowned international independent experts reviewing research and evidence on different aspects of the trends, operations and impacts of MNEs.

  2. Conclusions concerning the promotion of sustainable enterprises - International Labour Conference, June 2007

    01 June 2007

    The conclusions of this discussion provide an important contribution agreed by the ILO’s tripartite constituency of governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations on how to promote enterprise development in a manner that aligns enterprise growth with sustainable development objectives and the creation of productive employment and decent work.

  3. Leaflet: Tripartite Declaration on Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy - Translating labour principles into practice

    01 January 2008