started dealing extensively with the problem of working conditions and the
working environment in the early 1970s, when it adopted two resolutions
relating thereto (Contribution of the International Labour Organisation to
the Protection and Enhancement of the Environment Related to Work, 1972, and
The Working Environment, 1974).
At its 60th
Session, the International Labour Conference took
another step, adopting a resolution on ILO′s future action in the field of
working conditions and environment. The resolution stated that “the
improvement of working conditions and the protection of the physical and
mental health of workers constitute an essential and permanent mission of
the International Labour Organisation”. After officially consulting the Member States
and national employers′ and workers′ organizations, the ILO
Governing Body approved the general outline of the PIACT at its session in
November 1976. The Programme had five main objectives:
This Declaration, which was adopted by the Governing Body at its 204th
(November 1977), was the outcome of a long institutional process started in
1972 with the first tripartite consultative meeting on the relationship
between multinational enterprises and social policy.
Its aim is to steer and inspire the practices of multinational enterprises and their relations with the governments and workers′ and employers′ organizations of the countries in which they have set up business. The principles set out in the
Declaration constitute a good code of conduct and best practices in areas
such as employment, training, working conditions, occupational health and
security and industrial relations.
As Director-General Francis Blanchard
recalled in the foreword to the Declaration: “The guidelines
contained in the Declaration should serve to enhance the positive
contribution which multinational enterprises can make to economic and
social progress and to reducing or resolving the difficulties to which
their operations may give rise" (see the Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning multinational enterprises and social policy
, p. 4).