Tripartite declaration of principles concerning multinational enterprises and social policy


The Tripartite Declaration of Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy is a non-binding international instrument that provides guidelines for governments, employers, and workers on the behavior of multinational enterprises (MNEs) with respect to social policy. It was adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 1977 and has since been recognized as a key reference point for promoting responsible business conduct.

The declaration sets out principles that aim to reconcile the interests of MNEs with those of the countries in which they operate, as well as with the rights and aspirations of workers. The three main stakeholders involved in the declaration are:

  1. Governments: The declaration encourages governments to create an enabling environment for MNEs by providing clear and consistent policies, legislation, and regulations that promote economic and social development. It emphasizes the importance of ensuring that MNEs respect national laws and contribute to the welfare of host countries.
  2. Employers: MNEs are expected to promote employment, enhance workers’ skills, and improve working conditions in their operations. They are encouraged to respect fundamental workers’ rights, including freedom of association, the right to organize and bargain collectively, and the elimination of discrimination in employment. MNEs are also urged to contribute to the economic and social progress of the countries where they operate.
  3. Workers and their representatives: The declaration recognizes the importance of effective social dialogue between employers, workers, and their representatives. It emphasizes the need for MNEs to consult and cooperate with workers and their organizations, promote fair employment practices, and provide opportunities for workers’ participation in decision-making processes.

The Tripartite Declaration of Principles aims to foster a balanced and mutually beneficial relationship between MNEs and the countries where they operate. It provides a framework for promoting social progress, employment, and decent work, while respecting national sovereignty and the rights and aspirations of workers. Although the declaration is not legally binding, it serves as an important reference for governments, employers, and workers in their efforts to promote responsible business conduct and social development.

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