Companies are under increased pressure, stemming from stakeholder expectations, reporting requirements, conditions for tendering, and new legislation etc., to conduct due diligence on human rights issues in their own operations and with business partners in their supply chains. Labour related human rights—child labour, forced labour, freedom of association and collective bargaining, non-discrimination, conditions of work and social protection—are relevant to all company operations.
Although much has been written in general about due diligence, labour issues pose particular challenges for companies. Proper due diligence on labour issues starts with a good understanding of what is expected of companies concerning respect for workers’ rights.
The principles contained in international labour standards (ILS) are the essential reference point for companies in addressing labour issues in corporate social responsibility and sustainability (CSR) initiatives. Yet, ILS are addressed to governments and the implications for companies, from a conceptual and practical point of view, are not always clear. This can lead to confusion, lack of coherence and misunderstandings when companies are confronted with specific situations. Building on this understanding, the course will examine good practice regarding due diligence pertaining to workers’ rights. Sessions will feature specialists working in companies and multi-stakeholder initiatives located in various regions of the world.
ILO is the specialized agency of the United Nations mandated to adopt and monitor the implementation of International Labour Standards. Since its inception in 1919, ILO has accumulated a wide range of expertise concerning the application of ILS principles to company and government operations, and regularly analyses international trends and collects company case studies.