Practical guidance

This page features guidance on the right to freedom of association - for business and others.  For further guidance on a range of business & human rights issues, including discrimination, forced labour, health & safety in the workplace, labour rights, migrant workers, see the Resource Centre’s Tools & Guidance Portal.

General

Ethical Trading Initiative launches guide to help companies respect freedom of association in supply chains
Ethical Trading Initiative, 26 Jul 2013

"Free Speech and Freedom of Association: Finding the Balance" - position paper critiques employer groups' defense of US-style anti-union campaigns - includes responses & non-responses

Intl. Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Jun 2013

Guide to help trade unions use 2011 OECD Guidelines to defend workers' rights
Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC), 2012

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the human rights of workers to form or join trade unions and to bargain collectively
Intl. Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), IndustryALL Global Union, Clean Clothes Campaign, UNI Global Union, 22 Nov 2012

ITUC briefing note for trade unionists on UN Framework & Guiding Principles on business & human rights
ITUC, 3 Jul 2012

ITUC guidance note for trade unionists on UN Framework & Guiding Principles on business & human rights
ITUC, May 2012

ETI briefing: Freedom of Association
Ethical Trading Initiative, Mar 2012

Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC) launches website with summaries of all trade union cases submitted under Guidelines since 2000
Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD, 23 Jan 2012

ITUC’s Worldwide Survey: Repression of union rights and economic freedoms across the globe
International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), 2011

Human Rights and Business Dilemmas Forum - Freedom of association
UN Global Compact, Undated
Contains materials on the risk to business, common dilemmas & suggestions for responsible business

Guidance on developing a freedom of association & collective bargaining policy
Maplecroft, Apr 2010

"Industrial relations: Raise the bar"
Ethical Trading Initiative, 2009

Freedom of association in practice: Lessons learned
Report of the Director General, Intl. Labour Organization, 2008

"Right to freedom of association – suggested practical actions"- see pg. 65 in "Human Rights Translated"
Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, International Business Leaders Forum, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2008

Freedom of Association and the Right to Collective Bargaining: Fair Wear Foundation guidance document for auditors and member companies
Fair Wear Foundation, 2008

Freedom of association and collective bargaining in export processing zones: Role of the ILO supervisory mechanisms
Ramapriya Gopalakrishnan, Intl. Labour Organization, 2007

Freedom of association & collective bargaining guidance document
Ethical Trading Initiative, Mar 2005

ILO Principles Concerning the Right To Strike
ILO, 1998

Freedom of assembly and association
Human Rights Education Associates, Undated

Intl. Framework Agreements

Analysis of UN framework on business & human rights & its application to global agreements between unions and multinationals
Jim Baker, Council of Global Unions in International Centre for Trade Union Rights, 2011

Study explores cases of "Intl. Framework Agreements" between companies & Global Union Federations and analyses their impacts on labour rights
Michael Fichter, Markus Helfen & Jörg Sydow, in Internationale Politik und Gesellschaft, 2011

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26 July 2013

New guide supports companies in upholding freedom of association

Author: Ethical Trading Initiative

‘Freedom of association in company supply chains: a practical guide’ was developed in recognition of a current lack of clear, practical guidance for companies tackling this issue in their global supply chains. It draws on our experience of supporting...

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1 June 2013

[PDF] Free Speech and Freedom of Association: Finding the Balance - A Position Paper

Author: Intl. Trade Union Confederation

[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Delta Air Lines and Deutsche Telekom to respond to this paper; see responses below.] The fundamental right to freedom of association guarantees that workers are able to form and join trade unions...

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27 November 2012
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22 November 2012

[PDF] The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the human rights of workers to form or join trade unions and to bargain collectively

Author: Intl. Trade Union Confederation (ITUC CSI IGB), IndustriALL Global Union, Clean Clothes Campaign, UNI Global Union

The right to join or form a trade union and the right to bargain collectively are established human rights falling within the scope of almost every business enterprise in almost every situation or context...Business responsibility with respect to these...

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23 January 2012

New TUAC web site unveils trade union experience of the OECD Guidelines

Author: Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD

For the first time trade unions around the world will be able to share experience of how trade unions have used the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The Guidelines, updated in 2011, provide recommendations to multinational enterprises ...

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1 January 2012

[PDF] The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises: Recommendations for Responsible Business Conduct in a Global Context

Author: Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC)

Overall, TUAC considers the OECD Guidelines today to be more fit-for-purpose and more relevant for workers around the world. TUAC’s aim in publishing this Guide is to help trade unions to use the 2011 Guidelines in their workplaces and in their...

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1 December 2011

[PDF] Regulating Labor Relations in Global Production Networks: Insights on International Framework Agreements

Author: Michael Fichter, Markus Helfen & Jörg Sydow, in Internationale Politik und Gesellschaft

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8 June 2011

Worldwide Survey: Repression of union rights and economic freedoms across the globe

Author: Intl. Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)

Colombia and the Americas maintain the lead in a grim record of murder and repression of workers involved in trade union activities in the latest world Annual Survey of violation of trade union rights released by the ITUC at the 100th ILO Conference....

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