The core elements of an ambitious and comprehensive strategy on decent work in supply chains have been agreed by a tripartite working group – representing governments, employers and workers – of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
The building blocks of a strategy, agreed after a meeting in Geneva between 27 June–1 July 2022, cover all available ILO means of action and a mix of measures national, international, mandatory and voluntary – to ensure decent work and improve working conditions in supply chains, which experienced significant challenges during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.
The working group reaffirmed the ILO mandate as it relates to decent work in supply chains and the necessity of equipping the ILO to take a leading role in providing guidance and support to Member States and tripartite constituents.
The strategy includes:
- Encouraging efforts to improve links between the work and information flow of the ILO’s supervisory mechanisms, as they relate to supply chains, and the ILO’s technical and research work.
- Developing further initiatives that could complement existing international labour standards and take into account the challenges of cross-border supply chains, including through new normative and non-normative measures, the revision of existing measures, and supplementary guidelines and tools.
- Actively help Member States to generate more and better data to support evidence-based decision making, notably by mapping all supply chain tiers and the relationships between buyers and suppliers in target national sectors, so as to better understand and address the root causes of decent work deficits and support development priorities.
- Promote the principles embodied in the UN Guiding Principles and the Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (MNE Declaration), recognizing that freedom of association and collective bargaining are enabling rights, and that social dialogue is at the heart of the ILO’s mandate.
- Actively engage with and achieve a leading role amongst multilateral, international financial, and other relevant organizations on decent work in supply chains, including those within the international trade architecture.