It is the only global instrument in this area and the only one that was elaborated and adopted by governments, employers and workers from around the world. It was adopted 40 years ago and amended several times, most recently in March 2017. Its principles are addressed to multinational and national enterprises, governments of home and host countries, and employers’ and workers’ organizations providing guidance in such areas as employment, training, conditions of work and life, industrial relations as well as general policies. The guidance is founded substantially on principles contained in international labour standards.
To stimulate the uptake of its principles by all parties, the ILO Governing Body has adopted operational tools.
Understanding the MNE Declaration and putting its principles into practice
International policy coherence
- MNE Declaration and trade and investment
- MNE Declaration and the Business and Human Rights agenda
- MNE Declaration and gender equality
- Overview of references made to ILO MNE Declaration in international and regional policy frameworks
- References made to the MNE Declaration in International Framework Agreements
Country case study
Paving the way for the application to the principles of the MNE Declaration in the fish-processing and tourism sectors in Cape Verde
National and sectoral approaches are put in place to promote the MNE Declaration and encourage the uptake of its principles. Experience-sharing with other Portuguese-speaking countries such as Mozambique and Portugal are contributing to this process.
ILO Governing Body, 346th Session, October-November 2022
Taking stock five years after the adoption of the revised Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy
This paper provides an overview of the progress made since 2017, as well as opportunities in the current context to further promote the use of the MNE Declaration to advance decent work and inclusive economic growth.
- Decision on taking stock five years after the adoption of the revised MNE Declaration
Building a coherent and coordinated approach for the promotion of sustainable and responsible investments and business practices for the realization of decent work in Egypt
Cairo, Egypt, 10-12 October 2022
A roadmap for the promotion of sustainable, responsible and inclusive investments and business practices for the realization of decent work in Egypt, built upon the ILO MNE Declaration was presented after a three-day workshop facilitated by the ILO with representatives from Government, Employers’ and Workers’ organizations in attendance.
Bangkok, Thailand, 20-22 September 2022
The 4th UN Responsible Business and Human Rights Forum co-organized by ILO and other UN agencies under the theme “Harnessing Levers of Changes” took place in Bangkok, Thailand from 20-22 September 2022. With the participation of different stakeholders across the region, the Forum explored what has worked to promote business respect for human rights and the environment and what the remaining challenges were, as well as what novel strategies could be devised to accelerate progress in this area.
From 13-15 July, over 2000 participants, including policy makers, employers’ and workers’ organizations, enterprises, indigenous and afro-descendants’ peoples, human rights defenders, civil society organizations and academia from 54 countries gathered in Bogotá to discuss Business and Human Rights in Latin America and the Caribbean.
ILO workshop among OECD National Contact Points for Responsible Business Conduct to enhance policy coherence on international labour standards
Organized from 20 June to 1 July 2022, the workshop highlighted the coherence and linkages that exist between the ILO MNE Declaration and the OECD MNE Guidelines, in particular concerning issues related to decent work and human rights, including in the context of due diligence.
The elimination of child labour and its root causes – the guidance offered by the ILO MNE Declaration
With the COVID-19 pandemic, the global progress against child labour has stalled for the first time and millions of children are put at risk of being pushed into child labour. Now more than ever, governments, social partners and businesses – national and multinational, small, medium and large – have a critical role to play in tackling child labour and addressing its root causes, including gaps in legislation and/or law enforcement, the informal economy, lack of freedom of association and collective bargaining, poverty and inadequate social protection, discrimination, lack of education and unsustainable business practices. By highlighting the relevant recommendations of the Tripartite Declaration of Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (MNE Declaration), this joint guidance note by the ILO Multinational Enterprises and Enterprises Engagement Unit (MULTI) and the ILO Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work Branch (FUNDAMENTALS) aims to promote more comprehensive strategies and actions that businesses operating all over the world can take by adopting a holistic approach to the elimination of child labour and its root causes in their business operations.
Nepal is the second country in Asia to appoint a national focal point for the promotion of the MNE Declaration and the application of its principles.
Self-assessment tool for enterprises
A self-assessment tool for enterprises based on the Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (MNE Declaration)
This self-assessment tool for enterprises has been developed by the ILO, together with the International Organization of Employers (IOE), to support enterprises that seek to benchmark their corporate social policies and practices against the guidance provided in the Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (MNE Declaration).
Ghana appoints four national focal points to promote of the MNE Declaration in engagements with local and foreign enterprises and investors
Ghana is the first country to designate the national investment promotion agency as one of the national focal points to promote the MNE Declaration and the application of its principles.
The linkages between international labour standards, the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights
This briefing note, jointly produced by the ILO and the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, explains the interconnectivity between international labour standards, the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights, and National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights (NAPs). It is addressed to governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations, who all have a critical role in the development, adoption and implementation of such NAPs.
Questions and Answers
Company-Union Dialogue: An operational tool of the Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (MNE Declaration)
The ILO company-union dialogue is intended to support “dialogues involving multinational enterprises and the representatives of the workers affected, in particular trade unions, on the application of the principles of the Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (MNE Declaration).” This Q&A document provides information on various aspects of the company-union dialogue and explains how the ILO facility operates in practice. It is based on actual questions received.
COVID-19 and multinational enterprises: Impacts on FDI, trade and decent work in Asia and the Pacific
Multinational enterprises (MNEs) and their supply chains have been heavily affected by the COVID-19 crisis, with millions of workers suffering adverse impacts. This brief provides evidence on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on FDI and trade in Asia and the Pacific. The brief also discusses the impact on MNEs and decent work and highlights how social dialogue can inform the design and implementation of policies to ensure a human-centred recovery.
Stakeholders of Japan's National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights issued Joint Comments following dialogue facilitated by the ILO
Stakeholders comprising the Working Group and Advisory Committee on the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights, in which ILO Office for Japan is participating as a member, have released comments on the Plan.
This brief provides guidance to companies on good practices on restructuring in response to the COVID-19 crisis, consistent with the provisions of international labour standards. It also suggests actions that employers’ and workers’ organizations can take to support enterprises and workers during restructuring.
17 March 2017
The ILO has revised its landmark MNE Declaration on multinational enterprises and social policy, which provides guidance on how companies can contribute to the realization of decent work for all.