Partnering in Asia

Promoting responsible supply chains in Asia

A new joint action by the European Union, the ILO and the OECD on responsible supply chains will promote corporate social responsibility (CSR)/responsible business conduct (RBC) with regard to decent work, environmental sustainability and respect for human rights.

News | 22 March 2018
Garment worker in a factory in Beijing, China - © ILO/Marcel Crozet
BRUSSELS (ILO News) - The new EUR 9 million project, funded by the European Union (EU) under the Partnership Instrument, and jointly implemented by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), will cover six countries in Asia (China, Japan, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam).

The partnership aims at advancing sustainable and inclusive growth by encouraging businesses to adopt policies and practices in the areas of human and labour rights and environmental protection standards in line with international instruments, such as the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and human rights and the OECD MNE Guidelines.

Sector-focused interventions will be introduced under the project, wherein successful approaches to CSR/RBC will be collected and disseminated among key stakeholders in Europe and in Asia, including through policy advocacy and training activities.

The action, which will be implemented over a period of three years, was announced by EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström during the March EU-ASEAN Business Summit.

Asia is one of the largest trading partners of the EU. Many goods and services in the EU originate in or are sourced from Asia. This initiative is an expression of the EU's long-standing commitment to promote human rights, decent work and sustainable development.

This is the first time that the EU, the ILO and the OECD join forces to promote responsible supply chains on such a large scale. A similar project on responsible business conduct is currently under discussion for Latin America and the Caribbean.