Tripartite declaration of principles concerning multinational enterprises and social policy (MNE Declaration) - 4th Edition

The MNE Declaration is the only ILO instrument that provides direct guidance to enterprises on social policy and inclusive, responsible and sustainable workplace practices. It is the only global instrument in this area that was elaborated and adopted by governments, employers and workers from around the world. It was adopted close to 40 years ago (and amended twice in 2000 and 2006) but its aims remain highly relevant in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Its principles are addressed to MNEs, governments, and employers’ and workers’ organizations and cover areas such as employment, training, conditions of work and life, and industrial relations as well as general policies. All principles build on international labour standards (ILO conventions and recommendations). The MNE Declaration facilitates outreach and understanding of the Decent Work Agenda in the private sector, as highlighted in the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization.

The MNE Declaration's approach to social and labour issues has directly influenced and guided policies of international and regional organizations, many multi-stakeholder initiatives as well as codes of conduct of enterprises of all sizes and structures.

The ILO provides technical assistance to support the application of the principles of the MNE Declaration. This assistance includes the services of the ILO Helpdesk for Business, country-level assistance (Argentina, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Chile, Côte d'Ivoire, Fiji, Jamaica, Mozambique and Zambia), the development of materials and resources, and the organization of training courses.

A new follow-up mechanism to the MNE Declaration has been adopted by the ILO Governing Body in 2014, focusing on increased promotional and capacity building activities and a data gathering mechanism allowing for further policy discussions among governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations especially in the context of the ILO Regional Meetings.

At its 326th session in March 2016, the ILO Governing Body decided to establish a tripartite ad hoc working group of eight members representing Governments, four members representing Workers and four members representing Employers that will meet twice before March 2017 to review the text of the MNE Declaration including its annex and addenda and the interpretation procedure. The recommendations of the working group, arrived at through consensus, will be presented for possible adoption at the 329th Session (March 2017) of the Governing Body.