The Institute of Contemporary Observation (ICO), founded on March 18, 2001, is a civil society organization dedicated to labor development and corporate social responsibility. It drives China's sustainable development by various tiers, such as research, labor rights advocacy, social responsibility consultation, education and training, legal aid, community service, etc.
ICO adheres to principles of justice, independence and professionalism. It monitors laborer's living conditions and development and attempts to improve labor rights, promote the development of public policy and law, foster civil power for development, advance commerce, improve labor and capital relations and manage the harmonious development of society and economy. At the same time, ICO works with multinational corporations (MNC), international organizations and local institutions intimately to help MNCs enforce international labor standards within their supply-chain factories and to help them build more competitive business solutions.
ICO also works to develop workers' ability for self-development and self-awareness and is striving to develop several different kinds of training programs of benefit to workers. In March of 2004, collaborated with the University of California, Berkeley, ICO established a community college for migrant workers providing courses in rights, knowledge and vocation in communities and factories for giving migrant workers the opportunity to continue their education and seek career advancement.