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World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization


Globalization is among the most hotly debated issues on political agendas today. The discussion, however, tends to be fragmented, with views often polarized along political or geographic lines. Some blame globalization for exacerbating unemployment and poverty, others see it as a way of solving such problems. Attention and research concentrate on markets and perceived economic gains or losses rather than on the impact of globalization on the life and work of people, their families and their societies.

This lack of consensus makes it harder to develop policies at national and international levels. The inadequate focus on the human side of globalization creates a gap in understanding the forces of change and how people react to them. Such knowledge is necessary if appropriate policy responses are to be developed.

Against this background the International Labour Organization in February 2002 launched the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization. This independent body aims to move the debate from confrontation to dialogue, and thereby set the stage for action. How can the benefits of globalization reach more people?

The Commission explored innovative, sustainable ways of combining economic, social and environmental objectives to make globalization work for all. Based on the best available expertise, it made its recommendations seeking to build upon a broad consensus among all key actors. The Commission's final report has been released in February 2004.

The Commission has been funded mainly through the ILO's regular budget.
Select the documents below for further information:

282nd Session, November 2001

Enhancing the action of the Working Party on the Social Dimension of Globalization: Next steps (GB.282/WP/SDG/1) - PDF 60 Kb

Report of the Working Party on the Social Dimension of Globalization(GB.282/12) - PDF 60 Kb

285th Session, November 2002

Report of the Working Party on the Social Dimension of Globalization (GB.285/16) - PDF 60 Kb

The Commission
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The Social Dimension of Globalization
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Established by the ILO
 Updated 24 February 2004