Global supply chains

Global supply chains refer to goods and services that cross international borders for consumption or as inputs for further production. They have become a common way of organizing investment, production and trade in the global economy. They have made important contributions to economic growth and development and have had a positive impact on job creation. At the same time, global supply chains have been linked to decent work deficits and adverse human rights impacts.

ILO member States recognized the importance of a global level playing field at its foundation. As pointed out in the preamble to the ILO Constitution: “the failure of any nation to adopt humane conditions of labour is an obstacle in the way of other nations which desire to improve the conditions in their own countries”. International labour standards, enforced by governments, establish the framework for ensuring that relationships between employers and workers are grounded in the fundamental principles and rights at work.

In light of its mandate, expertise and experience, its tripartite structure, its distinct role in the world of work, and its normative approach to development, the ILO seeks to promote dialogue on the opportunities and challenges associated with decent work in global supply chains, and to identify policies and practices that can best harness their positive potential.