An effective Code of Conduct

An effective Code of Conduct should:


  1. At the very least, incorporate the eight ILO Conventions that are fundamental to the rights of human beings at work. A company should neither ‘select’ which rights to include in its Code of Conduct, nor ‘rewrite’ them for its own purposes. Eight fundamental ILO Conventions have been identified relating to:
    • Forced labour
    • Discrimination
    • Child labour
    • The right to organize and collective bargaining
    • A living wage
    • Overtime
    • Safe and healthy working conditions
    • A legal contract of employment
  2. Describe how the company will implement and enforce the Code of Conduct. The company will also monitor compliance with the code, which is usually implemented in phases
  3. Involve all stakeholders. If a company draws up a code without consulting anyone else, it will lack credibility. All stakeholders should contribute: companies, trade unions, NGOs. This also applies to the practical implementation of the code, at the local level
  4. Appoint an independent body to monitor compliance with the code
  5. Offer favourable business terms for suppliers (e.g. long-term contracts and fair prices). This will provide suppliers with the financial resources needed to implement the code