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The ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy Revisited: Is There a Need for Its Reform?

  • Jernej Letnar ČerničEmail author
Part of the European Yearbook of International Economic Law book series


The field of business and human rights has recently seen many seminal developments in the creation of national and international binding and soft law standards in order to protect human dignity of rights holders. This article revisits the function, role and scope of the 2017 version of the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy. It asks if there is a need for its reform? It first provides in Sect. 2 a brief historical background and explore the its legal nature. Section 3 examines the contents of the revised Tripartite Declaration focusing on labour and/or human rights provisions thereby providing a critical account of provisions included or omitted. Section 4, thereafter, describes and critically analyses its implementation tools from promotion to interpretation procedure and provides a critical assessment of their usefulness for rights-holders. Equipped with the knowledge from previous sections, Sect. 5 thereafter provides an overall analysis and assessment of the recent revisions of the ILO Tripartite Declaration outlining both its advantages and disadvantages; places it in the wider context of standard-setting in business and human rights and provides some suggestions how to reform it and to better realize its potential. This article, therefore, argues that the ILO Governing Body should rephrase the vague and conditional language of the Tripartite Declaration and improve its implementation tools, particularly the interpretation procedures by opening it to individual claimants. In this way, it would emancipate the rights-holders to enforce the core labour rights included in the Declaration against adverse corporate conduct.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Government and European Studies, Nova univerzaLjubljanaSlovenia

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