ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (MNE Declaration)

The ILO is the United Nations international organization responsible for creating and overseeing international labour standards. The ILO does not impose sanctions; rather, it registers complaints against entities that are violating international rules.It brings together representatives of governments, employers, and workers to shape policies and programmes promoting Decent Work for all.[i] The ILO uses conventions and recommendations to set international standards. Declarations are used to reaffirm the positions and goals of the ILO. There are six ILO declarations. The ILO Tripartite declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises applies to multinational enterprises (MNEs), governments, employers, and workers organizations in the areas of employment, training, conditions of work and life, and industrial relations.[ii]


Goals: Promote and reaffirm the standards and rights at work; Create greater opportunities for women and men to decent employment and income; enhance the coverage and effectiveness of social protection for all, and Strengthen tri-partisan and social dialogue. [iii]


Relevant Declarations



Employment Promotion

16. Multinational enterprises, particularly when operating in developing countries, should  […]  increase employment opportunities and standards […]

17. Before starting operations, multinational enterprises should […] consult the competent authorities and the national employers’ and workers’ […]  

18. Multinational enterprises should give priority to the employment, occupational development […]

19. Multinational enterprises,  […]  in developing countries, should have regard to the importance of using technologies which generate employment, both directly and indirectly. […] They should also, […] take part in the development of appropriate technology  […]

20. To promote employment in developing countries, in the context of an expanding world economy, multinational enterprises […] should give consideration to  […]  contracts with national enterprises for the manufacture of parts and equipment, to the use of local raw materials and to the progressive promotion of the local processing of raw materials. […]

Equality of opportunity and treatment

21. All governments should pursue policies designed to promote equality of opportunity and treatment in employment […]

Security of employment

24. Governments should carefully study the impact of multinational enterprises on employment in different industrial sectors. Governments, as well as multinational enterprises […] should take suitable measures to deal with the employment and labour market impacts […]

25. Multinational enterprises equally with national enterprises […] should […] provide stable employment for their employees and should observe […] obligations concerning employment stability and social security. […] multinational enterprises […] should […] assume a leading role in promoting security of employment, particularly in countries where the discontinuation of operations is likely to accentuate long-term unemployment.

26. In considering changes in operations […] which would have major employment effects, multinational enterprises should provide reasonable notice of such changes to the appropriate government authorities and representatives of the workers in their employment and their organizations […]

28. Governments, in cooperation with multinational as well as national enterprises, should provide some form of income protection for workers whose employment has been terminated.



29. Governments, in cooperation with all the parties concerned, should develop national policies for vocational training and guidance […]

30. […] multinational enterprises should ensure that relevant training is provided for all levels of their employees in the host country, […] Such training should, […] develop generally useful skills and promote career opportunities.

31. Multinational enterprises operating in developing countries should participate, […] in programmes, […] encouraged by host governments and supported by employers’ and workers’ organizations […] encouraging skill formation and development as well as providing vocational guidance, […]multinational enterprises should make the services of skilled resource personnel available to help in training programmes […]

32. Multinational enterprises, […] should afford opportunities […] to broaden the experience of local management in suitable fields such as industrial relations.



Wages, benefits and conditions of work

33. Wages, benefits and conditions of work offered by multinational enterprises should be not less favourable to the workers than those offered by comparable employers […]

34. When multinational enterprises operate in developing countries […] they should provide the best possible wages, benefits and conditions of work […]. These […] should be at least adequate to satisfy basic needs of the workers and their families. […] amenities such as housing, medical care or food, these amenities should be of a good standard.

Minimum age

36. Multinational enterprises, as well as national enterprises, should respect the minimum age for admission to employment or work […]

Safety and health

37. Governments should ensure that both multinational and national enterprises provide adequate safety and health standards for their employees. […]

38. Multinational enterprises should maintain the highest standards of safety and health, […] They should also make available […] information on the safety and health standards relevant to their local operations, which they observe in other countries. […] they should make known to those concerned any special hazards and related protective measures associated with new products and processes. […]

39. Multinational enterprises should cooperate in the work of international organizations concerned with the preparation and adoption of international safety and health standards.

40. […] multinational enterprises should cooperate fully with the competent safety and health authorities, the representatives of the workers and their organizations, and established safety and health organizations. […]



41. Multinational enterprises should observe standards of industrial relations not less favourable than those observed by comparable employers in the country concerned.

Freedom of association and the right to organize

42. Workers […] have the right to establish and, […] join organizations of their own choosing without previous authorisation. They should also enjoy adequate protection against acts of antiunion discrimination in respect of their employment.

Collective bargaining

49. Workers employed by multinational enterprises should have the right, […] to have representative organizations of their own choosing […] for the purpose of collective bargaining.

51. Multinational enterprises […] should provide workers’ representatives with such facilities as may be necessary to assist in the development of effective collective agreements[…]

55. Multinational enterprises should provide workers’ representatives with information required for meaningful negotiations […] and, […] provide information to enable them to obtain a true and fair view of the performance of the entity […]

56. Governments should supply to the representatives of workers’ organizations on request, […] information on the industries in which the enterprise operates, which would help in laying down objective criteria in the collective bargaining process. […]


57. In multinational as well as in national enterprises, systems devised by mutual agreement […] should provide […] for regular consultation on matters of mutual concern. Such consultation should not be a substitute for collective bargaining.

Examination of grievances

58. Multinational […] should respect the right of the workers […] any worker who, […] considers that he has grounds for a grievance should have the right to submit such grievance without suffering any prejudice whatsoever […] and to have such grievance examined […].



[i]      International labour organization. (2012). Retrieved from–en/index.htm


International Labour Organization. (2006). TRIPARTITE DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES CONCERNING MULTINATIONAL ENTERPRISES AND SOCIAL POLICY. Retrieved from International Labour Organization:—ed_emp/—emp_ent/—multi/documents/publication/wcms_094386.pdf

iii    International labour organization . (2012, April 11). Retrieved from–en/index.htm

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