With regard to labor, Codes of Conduct are intended to recommend or outline issues such as compliance with labor standards, the establishment of minimum labor conditions, business ethics and fair business practices or law enforcement, among others.
The World Bank estimates that, at the global level, there are at least 1000 codes of conduct or guidelines that are issued by multinational companies (MNCs), NGOs, consumer groups, chambers of industry and other agencies.
At the private level, the number of multinational companies that use these codes has significantly increased both by the need to carry out their activities based on business parameters that allow it to operate transnationally without having to readapt to local conditions, and by the need for their subcontractors or suppliers and its subsidiaries to be governed under the same standards.
At the international level, some codes of
conduct developed by international bodies stand out,
such as the
ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (MNE Declaration)
and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Companies which despite being voluntarily adopted and enforced and lacking hierarchy in international law, are widely used by countries.
International social standards
International social standards, which cover issues of labor standards have been developed or are currently under
development by non-governmental organizations such as Social Accountability International
or the International Organization for Standardization (ISO
These standards help companies address the social dimension of their operation and may be accompanied by verification and due
diligence processes for compliance. In the development of such standards, ILO conventions, working conditions or compliance
with national labor law are taken into account.