Public Policy for Responsible Business Conduct


Governments have a key role to play to ensure global business conduct contributes to open, inclusive, and sustainable markets based on the rule of law, respect for human rights, and the protection of the planet. In this context, the OECD supports policymakers take action towards an enabling policy environment to drive, support and promote responsible business practices.

The OECD provides research and analysis, technical advice, capacity-building and peer-learning at national and regional level in thematic areas such as trade and investment, development cooperation, public procurement, and State-owned enterprises, among others.



OECD Recommendation on the Role of Government in Promoting Responsible Business Conduct

The Recommendation lays out principles and recommendations to assist governments, other public authorities, and relevant stakeholders in the design and implementation of policies that enable and promote responsible business conduct. It aims to bolster the key role governments can play in supporting the implementation of RBC standards by providing an enabling policy environment, creating incentives, and exemplifying RBC in their own activities.

The Recommendation was adopted by the OECD in December 2022, and publicly launched in February 2023. All 51 Adherents to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises have adhered to this legal instrument. 

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Country work

As part of its work on public policy for responsible business conduct, the OECD brings together policymakers, businesses, and stakeholders to promote the implementation of RBC standards at the country, sub-regional and regional level through dedicated programmes and tailored projects. The main goal of this regional outreach is to promote the implementation of due diligence standards by local businesses, support governments create an enabling policy environment for responsible business conduct, and facilitate access to remedy. 

The project promotes smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in Latin America and the Caribbean by supporting responsible business conduct practices in line with the UN, ILO and OECD instruments. 

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Thematic work

Governments can encourage RBC through relevant policy areas and take measures to promote and exemplify RBC when they act in their role as economic actors or pursue commercial activities.

To help governments create an enabling policy environment for RBC, the OECD supports governments through research and analysis, technical advice, capacity-building and peer learning. For this purpose, the OECD aims to connect RBC with relevant policy areas, notably trade, investment, state-owned enterprises and public procurement. 


Public procurement

Public procurement is a significant catalyst to promote change in global value chains. Governments are large buyers of goods and services. Via their procurement, governments can send a clear signal to the market that they expect businesses to respect human rights, labour rights and the environment throughout their operations, business relationships and supply chains.

The OECD Programme on Public Procurement and Responsible Business Conduct has supported countries in achieving more responsible public procurement informed by OECD standards. The Programme provided evidence, connected policy areas and practitioners, and piloted peer-led learning on implementation in a targeted sector (garment).



OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct


National Contact Points for Responsible Business Conduct


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