Human resources and skills development

ILO Tripartite Declaration on Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy

The ILO's Tripartite Declaration of Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy is the universal basic reference point for social responsibility in the world of work. It sets out principles, developed through tripartite dialogue, in the fields of employment, training, working conditions, and industrial relations. The ILO has also produced useful Guides (seen below) to the Tripartite Declaration that offers practical suggestions on building relationships in global markets among business, government and labour that balance the goals of profitability, the protection of workers' rights and socio-economic development. 

OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

The OECD's Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises are recommendations from governments to multinational enterprises. They set out voluntary principles and standards for responsible business conduct, consistent with domestic and international laws, in areas such as human rights, information disclosure, employment and industrial relations, environmental stewardship, combating bribery, consumer rights, science and technology, competition and taxation. Countries adhering to the Guidelines are required to set up a National Contact Point (NCP) that is responsible for promoting the Guidelines and contributing to the resolution of issues that arise in relation to the implementation of the Guidelines in specific cases. NCPs are expected to operate in accordance with the core criteria of visibility, accessibility, transparency and accountability. 

The Labour Program participates in Canada's National Contact Point, an interdepartmental committee comprising representatives from a number of federal government departments. The Committee is responsible for:

  • promoting the Guidelines in Canada;
  • responding to inquiries;
  • contributing to the resolution of issues related to the Guidelines;
  • cooperating with other NCPs;
  • reporting annually to the OECD on its activities.

More information is available in the brochure Canada and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

United Nations Global Compact

Another key multilateral initiative supporting corporate social responsibility was launched by the Secretary-General of the United Nations at the 1999 World Economic Forum in Davos. The United Nations Global Compact comprises ten principles derived from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 1998 ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the Rio Declaration of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. The ten principles address human rights, labour standards, environment and anti-corruption. The International Chamber of Commerce supports the initiative.

For more information on Canadian initiatives in support of Corporate Social Responsibility, visit the Department of International Trade website.