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
My.Coop ToT30 July 2014
Registration for My.COOP Training of Trainers distance learning programme in English, French and Spanish is now open!
This event aims at informing the development community in Germany of the latest trends with regard to the role cooperative enterprises can play as builders of economic, social and environmental sustainability.
This brief summarizes the main findings of a forthcoming report of the same title, by Frederick O. Wanyama of Maseno University in Kenya, prepared as part of ILO’s contribution to the initiative on the contribution of cooperatives to sustainable development.
Analysis14 July 2014
The coop economy, worth around US$2.5 trillion, plays its part in helping to eliminate child labour – a problem that, although in decline, still affects 168 million children worldwide.
In order to bring cooperative voices into the discussion around the post-2015 development agenda, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) have launched an initiative on the contribution of cooperatives to sustainable development. This brief reports on the results of an online survey that investigated the current and potential contributions of cooperatives to sustainable development.
International Labour Conference
Secretary General of CICOPA, Bruno Roelants, is representing the International Co-operative Alliance at the 103rd Session of the International Labour Conference in Geneva. Click to read Mr. Roelants' address to the ILC Committee on facilitating transitions from the informal to the formal economy.
Analysis22 May 2014
All over the world, trade unions and cooperatives are rediscovering each other and joining forces to save companies and jobs.
This issue of the COOP News includes articles on various events, projects, trainings and meetings related to the work of the ILO's COOP Unit between January and March, 2014.
International Journal of Labour Research01 April 2014
In May 2013, ACTRAV and the ILO Cooperatives Unit held a seminar on the topic of relations between trade unions and worker cooperatives. The goal was to re-examine the relationship between the two movements by taking stock of recent initiatives around the world. To be sure, the relationship between trade unions and cooperatives is as long as the history of trade unions. In fact, it is fair to say that the first associations of workers that emerged in Europe looked more like cooperatives than trade unions.
Publication20 December 2013
This publication is a collection of case studies on cooperatives in energy production, distribution and consumption as a contribution to the on-going search for ways in which the goal of sustainable Energy for All can be turned into a reality.
Speech10 December 2013
Opening remarks by Maurizio Bussi, the Director of the ILO's Decent Work Technical Support Team for East and Southeast Asia and the Pacific at the First Asia-Pacific Co-operative Registrars' Conference, 10-12 December 2013, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Provides guidance to policy and lawmakers as well as other stakeholders to update existing and draft new cooperative legislation. Now also available in French and Spanish, with Arabic and Russian versions to follow shortly!
Report20 March 2013
This report reviews the performance of financial cooperatives, looking in particular at the aftermath of the 2007-2008 crisis and the continuing long austerity period. It explains why financial cooperatives have proven to be more resilient pointing to the specificities of the cooperative model of enterprise. Now available in English, French, Spanish and Korean.
Policy brief13 November 2013
Given the values and principles cooperative enterprises embody and as a resilient business model which has been shown to operate successfully in all sectors, they can play a vital role in overcoming HIV and AIDS.
In order to bring in cooperative voices into the process of the post-2015 development agenda, the International Labour Organization’s Co-operatives Unit, in collaboration with the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA), the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) and other partners has launched an initiative on the contribution of cooperatives to sustainable development.
Issue brief19 September 2013
Cooperative enterprises have improved the lives of women and men migrant workers and their families for decades. Migrants find income and jobs, access affordable goods and services and find empowerment through cooperative enterprises, participating in the cooperative movement. Moreover, cooperative enterprises are facilitating economic, social and cultural integration or re-integration of migrant workers in both destination and home countries.
News09 July 2013
News08 July 2013
This invited think piece is published to mark International Cooperative Day. Held on 6 July every year, the theme for 2013 is "Cooperative enterprise remains strong in times of crisis".
News08 July 2013
On 8 July, experts gathered for a panel discussion at the UN in New York to examine ways in which cooperatives could serve as engines of economic recovery and growth while providing greater opportunities for social inclusion.
Feature10 June 2013
A non-profit organization set up in response to the devastation caused by cyclone Nargis employs women to run small businesses that benefit poor communities.
Article14 May 2013
A recent seminar organized by the ILO’s Bureau for Workers’ Activities and the ILO’s Cooperative Branch brought together researchers and practitioners from around the world to talk about some of the issues and experiences that cooperatives are facing today.
Event9 May 2013
Under the aegis of the International Journal of Labour Research, ACTRAV and COOP/EMP are holding a seminar on the theme of the relationship between trade unions and worker cooperatives.
Statement06 May 2013
Press release06 May 2013
Cooperatives and social enterprises can help expand decent work and job opportunities, says ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder.
Analysis12 April 2013
A new ILO book says that financial cooperatives fared better than the big investor-owned banks during the economic crisis.
Event6-8 May 2013
This conference is being jointly organized with UNRISD and will take place in the ILO, Geneva.
Feature7 February 2013
Fact sheetDecember 2012
This issue brief produced during the International Year of Cooperatives 2012 highlights how and why the cooperative form of enterprise can cater to the economic and social needs of persons with disabilities.
Fact sheetNovember 2012
Information brief on cooperatives
Provides guidance on how to draft cooperative law.
Instructional Material01 January 2007
This handbook lists the essential things to know about cooperatives for all those who are interested as members, future members, politicians or staff of national or international institutions in charge of the promotion and development of cooperatives. In simple, understandable language, the handbook deals in turn with the characteristic features of cooperatives, cooperative enterprise as a whole, the promotion of cooperatives and the close ties that exist between the ILO and cooperatives.
This SYNDICOOP Handbook is designed to help replicate the approach by serving as a resource for trade union and cooperative organizers and trainers. It was finalized by members of the International Steering Committee of the SYNDICOOP Programme, mainly comprising representatives from the International Confederation of Trade Unions (ICFTU now ITUC), the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) and ILO together with National Steering Committee members from all four programme countries as well as project staff.