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OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (OECD Guidelines) are part of the OECD Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises. They were first adopted in 1976 and have been subjected to revision five times since its first adoption. The last revised OECD Guidelines which are currently applicable are the 2011 Edition Guidelines.

The objective of the OECD Guidelines is to present global companies, i.e. multinational enterprises (MNEs), a series of recommendations that have been endorsed by governments with a view to establishing responsible business conduct in a global context and thus, serving to sustainable development. The fact that the OECD Guidelines are adopted as recommendations indicates that they are voluntary by nature. These recommendations which consist of principles and standards are in accordance with national laws and international standards and lay an obligation on the part of the adhering states to implement them. In other words, implementation of the OECD Guidelines is binding for the states concerned.

The issues covered by the OECD Guidelines include human rights, employment and industrial relations, environment, combating bribery, consumer interests, science and technology, competition and taxation. Apart from these material issues, the Guidelines also have a chapter on information disclosure including non-financial reporting. In terms of its content, the OECD Guidelines is marked as the most comprehensive guideline which has been reinforced by governments.

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