Cooperatives

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A cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise.

The ILO views cooperatives as important in improving the living and working conditions of women and men globally as well as making essential infrastructure and services available even in areas neglected by the state and investor-driven enterprises. Cooperatives have a proven record of creating and sustaining employment – they are estimated to provide at least 279 million jobs today; they contribute to promoting decent work and advancing sustainable development goals. The ILO activities are guided by the international standard on cooperatives, the ILO Promotion of Cooperatives Recommendation, 2002 (No.193).

In 2020 the ILO’s Cooperatives Unit celebrates its
centenary. During the course of the year, there will be series of events, publications, and a photo exhibit to commemorate this anniversary. These activities will not only be looking back in history but also reflecting on the future of cooperation and the role of the ILO in contributing to it. Find out more on ILO COOP 100 page

COOP Champions

  1. COOP Champions

    Kerryn Krige, ILO DWT/CO-Pretoria

    22 July 2019

    COOP Champions features ILO colleagues from around the world working on cooperatives and other social and solidarity economy enterprises. It highlights their contributions, and shares highlights of their experiences, current work, and future aspirations.

  2. COOP Champions

    John Bliek, Enterprises Specialist at ILO Office for the Andean Countries

    18 April 2019

    COOP Champions features ILO colleagues from around the world working on cooperatives and other social and solidarity economy enterprises. It highlights their contributions, and shares highlights of their experiences, current work, and future aspirations.