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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

OECD Guidelines

Concepts and Principles
General Policies
Human Rights
Employment and Industrial Relations
Combating Bribery
Consumer Interests
Science and Technology

The Guidelines are voluntary and uniform standards and principles for multinational enterprises (MNEs), intended to complement and reinforce individual efforts by MNEs contributing to sustainable development through good corporate citizenship.

The focus areas are:

  • Information Disclosure
  • Human Rights
  • Labor
  • Environment
  • Combating Bribery
  • Consumer Interests
  • Science and Technology
  • Competition
  • Taxation
  • Due Diligence and Supply Chains

What are the Guidelines?

  • The only comprehensive corporate social responsibility (CSR) instrument to be formally negotiated and endorsed by governments (in effect since 1976).
  • Voluntary principles that apply to MNEs operating in or from the territories of the 34 OECD member governments and nine partner governments;
  • Commitments shaped by input from the business community, labor, and other members of civil society, as well as international organizations.
  • Guidelines that are not intended to override local law or expose MNEs to conflicting expectations. MNE compliance with the laws of the country in which they operate is a fundamental principle of the Guidelines.
  • A part of a broader OECD investment instrument – the Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises.
  • The subject of periodic review and updating, under authority of the OECD Investment Committee (last updated in May 2011).

Guidelines Text:


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