Business Ethics

Author:International Law Group

OECD adopts revised guidelines for "responsible business conduct" by Multinational Enterprises which recommend standards as to labor, environment, human rights and corruption issues


On June 27, 2000, the Organization for Economic Development, Co- Operation and Development (OECD) adopted the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, revising the guidelines first published in 1976 and last revised in 1991. They form part of the OECD Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises.

The Guidelines are non-binding recommendations to multinational enterprises (MNEs) made by the 33 governments that adhere to them (29 OECD Member countries and 4 non-Member countries), including the U.S.

The goal is to help MNEs operate in harmony with government policies and societal expectations. They provide guidance on appropriate business conduct across the full range of MNE activities.

Governments, businesses, labor unions and NGOs worked together to draw up the Guidelines and approved them during the OECD's annual Council meeting at the ministerial level in Paris. Some broad behavioral standards include (1) Contributing to economic, social and environmental progress, (2) abstaining from any improper...

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