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UN ILO and ISO 26000

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a United Nations agency with a tripartite structure (governments, workers and employers) that was established for the purpose of setting international labour standards.

These minimum standards are legal instruments setting out universal basic principles and rights at work. They pertain to workers everywhere, working in any type of organization, and are intended to prevent unfair competition based on exploitation and abuse.

ILO Conventions and Recommendations, together with the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work 1998 and the ILO’s Tripartite Declaration of Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy 1977 (last revised 2006), constitute the most authoritative guidance regarding labour practices and some other important social issues.

The ILO seeks to promote opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work, which it defines as work performed in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity.

ILO and ISO 26000

Download ILO – ISO 26000 connection

ILO and ISO established a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to ensure consistency in ISO 26000 with ILO labour standards.

ILO participated intensively during the six year period of development of ISO 26000 and was part of the International Drafting Task Force, with expert Emily Sims.


ISO 26000 core subject ‘Labour practices’ is strongly based on ILO conventions.

The same counts for the Human Rights issue ‘Fundamental principles and rights at work’.

Other examples of ILO Conventions and Recommendations (in total around 70) that were included within ISO 26000 are:

  • Human Resources Development Convention
  • Occupational Health and Safety Guidelines
  • Forced Labour Convention
  • Freedom of Association
  • Minimum Wage Fixing Recommendation
  • Worst Forms of Child Labour Recommendation
  • Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention
  • Code of Practice on HIV/AIDS