SOMO launches a new publication that compares three corporate responsibility instruments and shows the most important overlaps or distinctions between them.


The instruments compared are: the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, ISO 26000: Guidance on Social Responsibility and the UN Global Compact. With this publication, SOMO hopes to provide civil society organisations (CSOs) with a way to quickly determine whether and how to use these instruments in their work to promote and enforce corporate accountability.

In recent years many different international guidelines and initiatives have been developed that aim to persuade companies to take responsibility for the social, ecological and economic consequences of their actions. The OECD Guidelines, ISO 26000 and the UN Global Compact are often seen as the most important international corporate responsibility instruments. The three instruments all provide recommendations and guidance for corporations in the fields of labour, human rights, the environment, economic aspects and other corporate responsibility issues. While there may be an overlap in the issues these initiatives cover, they differ considerably regarding their application, outreach, enforcement mechanisms and the ways of addressing non-compliances. To provide clarity SOMO has developed the comparison.

The comparison allows you to compare the three instruments easily and quickly on a number of comparative aspects such as aim, applicability, and character (voluntary or binding). In addition, the publication gives information about whether the instrument is accompanied by a monitoring mechanism and/or a complaint procedure. Besides, it offers more information about the background and content of the OECD Guidelines, ISO 26000 and the Global Compact. It also includes a section on how civil society organisations can use these instruments to promote and enforce corporate accountability.

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