National focal points for the application of the principles of the MNE Declaration in Sierra Leone achieve key milestones in 2019-2021

Since their appointment in July 2019, the national focal points for the promotion of the Tripartite Declaration of Principles on Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (MNE Declaration) have taken specific initiatives to stimulate the application of its principles in Sierra Leone.

The national focal points - in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MOLSS), the Sierra Leone Local Content Agency, and in employers’ and workers’ organizations (Sierra Leone Employers Federation and Sierra Leone Labour Congress) jointly developed a national action plan, which includes capacity building, research, and advocacy activities.

Key milestones of this national action plan have been implemented in the past three years:
  • An MNE Unit has been created in the MOLSS with the mandate to facilitate dialogue between workers, employers, government and multinational enterprises on how to better link investments and operations of MNEs with decent job creation and improved local economic development opportunities.
  • The 2022 Annual budget of the MOLSS includes activities to promote the ILO MNE Declaration.
  • The MNE Declaration was mainstreamed in the Sierra Leone Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Investment Plan under the leadership of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development highlighting the relevance of the guidance offered by the instrument for the development of the country and the realization of decent work.
  • In September 2021 a Technical Working Group under the leadership of the MOLSS was inaugurated to coordinate actions for the promotion of the MNE Declaration across national institutions and ministries. It includes representatives from the Ministries of Finance, Information and Communication, Technical and Higher Education, Trade & Industry, Mines and Mineral Resources, Local Government & Rural Development, the Office of the Chief Minister at State House, Bank of Sierra Leone, National Revenue Authority, and National Youth Commission.
  • Identifying the need for better protection of indigenous peoples in areas with increased business operations, the national focal point from the government initiated discussions on the ratification by Sierra Leone of ILO Convention No.169 (On the Rights of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples).
  • The national focal point of the Local Content Agency has taken steps to engage 29 enterprises in the country on the application of the principles of the MNE Declaration.
  • The national focal point from the Sierra Leone Labour Congress (SLLC) created a Trade Union Network on multinational enterprises bringing together six different trade unions. Members have been trained on the principles of the MNE Declaration. SLLC is working with stakeholders to establish trade unions protecting the rights of informal sector workers. In August 2021 a 4-day workshop allowed participants to review the draft Labour Bills (Employment, Regulation of Wages and Industrial Relations, and Workers Compensation) to ensure among others, that ratified ILO Conventions in force and relevant to the MNE Declaration - were taken in account.
The ILO is providing assistance to the national focal points for the promotion of the MNE Declaration in their efforts to promote the Declaration and the application of its principles in Sierra Leone. As such the ILO has supported the collection of data on specific sectors where multinational enterprises operate (the mining, banking, telecommunications and agribusiness sectors). At the request of the national focal points, the ILO is organizing a capacity building activity for the members of the new inter-ministerial Technical Working Group that will take place during the first semester of 2022.