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Cooperatives

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A cooperative is 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.

The ILO views cooperatives as important in improving the living and working conditions of women and men globally as well as making essential infrastructure and services available even in areas neglected by the state and investor-driven enterprises. Cooperatives have a proven record of creating and sustaining employment – they are estimated to provide at least 250 million jobs today; they contribute to promoting decent work and advancing sustainable development goals. The ILO activities are guided by the international standard on cooperatives, the ILO Recommendation on the Promotion of Cooperatives, 2002 (R.193).

Focus on this September

  1. International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer

    Providing clean energy and energy access through cooperatives

    1 September 2016

    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.

  2. United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation

    Social Solidarity and South-South Cooperation  - A compilation of short South-South Cooperation articles.

A bit of history

  1. Cooperative History Timeline

    Discover history timeline which navigates milestones of the cooperative movement and the ILO's work on promotion of cooperatives from the 18th century to date.

  2. Highlights on Cooperatives

Videos

  1. ILO Message on Cooperative and Social Economy Legislation in Greece