Cooperatives (COOP)

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ILO activities are guided by the international standard on cooperatives, the ILO Recommendation on the Promotion of Cooperatives, 2002 (R.193) . ILO's Cooperatives Unit (COOP) serves ILO constituents and cooperative organizations in four priority areas:
  • Raising public awareness on cooperatives through evidence based advocacy and sensitization to cooperative values and principles;
  • Ensuring the competitiveness of cooperatives by developing tailored tools to cooperative stakeholders including management training, audit manuals and assistance programmes.
  • Promoting the inclusion of teaching of cooperative principles and practices at all levels of the national education and training systems; and,
  • Providing advice on cooperative policy and cooperative law, including participatory policy and law making and the impact on cooperatives of taxation policies, labour law, accounting standards, and competition law among others.
  • Partnerships for cooperative promotion

The ILO works in partnership with the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) , the representative world body of cooperatives and is a member of the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC) , an interagency committee which promotes sustainable cooperative development. It also collaborates with cooperative development agencies and training institutions.
  • A cooperative is defined as an "autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise."

    ILO Recommendation 193