Better Work Programme

Joint ILO-IFC Better Work partnership names U.K. corporate social responsibility expert as new Director

Better Work, a partnership of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), has announced that ILO Director-General Juan Somavia has selected corporate social responsibility expert Dan Rees of the United Kingdom as its new Director.

News | 18 May 2010

GENEVA (ILO News) -–- Better Work, a partnership of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), has announced that ILO Director-General Juan Somavia has selected corporate social responsibility expert Dan Rees of the United Kingdom as its new Director.

Mr. Rees comes to Better Work from his previous position as founding Director of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), one of the world'’s most respected corporate social responsibility organizations. His appointment results from a rigorous selection process by a joint IFC/ILO team of technical experts and members of the Management Group extended over several months.

Better Work seeks to improve labour standards compliance in global supply chains, both to protect workers’’ rights and help enterprises become more competitive. The programme focuses on scalable and sustainable solutions that build cooperation between governments, employers’’ and workers’’ organizations and international buyers. Donor support also plays a large role in implementation of global and country-level activities, which include enterprise assessments, training and advisory services, and market engagement. Better Work is currently active in seven countries on three continents, and in the coming years will expand to new countries and industries.

Mr. Rees will receive strategic guidance from an international advisory committee comprising representatives of employers’’ organizations, trade unions, donors, and international buyers. His skills in building effective multi-stakeholder initiatives and strong reputation among CSR proponents around the world, will strengthen the Better Work foundation laid by former Director Ros Harvey and the global project team.

Mr. Rees has a degree in International Economic Development from the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom. Working with ETI since 1999, he was responsible for growing the membership of that programme to over 50 leading brands and retailers, trade unions representing nearly 160 million workers around the world, and leading campaigning and development organizations. Mr. Rees also helped establish the first multi-stakeholder initiative aimed at improving working conditions in South Africa. In the UK, he chaired the Temporary Labour Working Group, a cross-industry alliance established to help end exploitation of temporary labourers in the agricultural sector.

Previously, Mr. Rees has served as a regular adviser to the ILO, the Government of the United Kingdom, other UN bodies, and leading companies on the implementation of corporate codes of labour practice.

Mr. Rees will assume his position at the Better Work global programme office in Geneva in August 2010.

For more information on the Better Work programme, please contact Ms. Chandra Garber at +41 22/ 799- 7814 or garber@ilo.org.