Freedom of Association and Development

ILO’s guide on “Freedom of Association and Development” (2012) aims to highlight the pivotal role of freedom of association in fostering and maintaining sustainable development. As such, it seeks to provide ideas for governments, trade unions and employers’ organisations on how to work together to achieve real and tangible results for development. Specifically, this publication outlines how respect for freedom of association can contribute to development outcomes by looking at the benefits it provides in four key areas: • Inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction; • A positive business environment; • Crisis response; and • Democracy and governance.

The case studies gathered together in this publication demonstrate the positive effect on economic growth and development that freedom of association can have when governments, employers’ organisations and trade unions work together. Necessarily, the way in which these groups work towards sustainable development depends significantly on local conditions and context, but there are useful lessons that can be applied across varying country contexts. It is hoped that these case studies will provide concrete guidance and ideas for ILO constituents on some of the ways in which governments, workers and employers can work together constructively for greater economic and social development.

This ILO publication is based on a project funded by the Norwegian Government. It is also based on extensive collaboration between ACTRAV, ACT/EMP, NORMES and DECLARATION.