Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

From an ILO perspective, the social responsibilities of business and their contribution to the decent work agenda is, and has always been, a central part of ILO efforts to promote economic and social progress.

Corporate Social Responsibility is one of the important ways today in which enterprises affirm their principles and values, both in their own internal processes and operations and in their interaction with other actors.

While enterprises are increasingly reflecting the principles that underpin international labour standards in their CSR policies, for the ILO it is important to emphasise the voluntary nature of CSR.

During 2006-07, the ILO is implementing an InFocus Initiative (pdf 408KB) which seeks to advance the ILO’s leadership in this area by promoting the principles laid down in the MNE Declaration as the foundation for good CSR policy and practice. This Initiative builds on and complements the ILO’s role in respect of governments of member States, setting, implementing and supervising labour standards, promoting social dialogue and assisting countries to implement good policies in this regard.

The InFocus initiative supports the constituents and seeks to inform the diverse ways in which enterprises can give effect to the MNE Declaration through CSR by:

  • developing knowledge on the different aspects of CSR
  • facilitating dialogue in the ILO to clarify issues and share views on what constitutes good CSR practice
  • developing and providing training to support the constituents and other actors to give effect to the MNE Declaration
  • developing models of good practice on how enterprises, including within their supply chain architecture, are giving effect to the MNE Declaration in a particular country context through their CSR activities
  • collecting and disseminating information by upgrading the business and social initiatives database (BASI), publishing working papers and case studies, and supporting the activities of the ILO constituents
  • building dialogue with international intergovernmental organizations and engaging with other international initiatives related to CSR.

See also