C169 Seminar

Enabling rights-based development for indigenous and tribal peoples – learning from 25 years’ experience of ILO Convention No. 169

The ILO Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No.169) is an unprecedented and visionary instrument seeking to ensure that indigenous peoples enjoy human rights without discrimination, exercise control over their own development and participate in decision-making processes that affect their lives. The Convention, along with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), is a cornerstone of the international legal framework protecting indigenous peoples’ rights.

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Convention’s adoption, this seminar offered an opportunity for a diverse group of stakeholders to share lessons learned and country-level experiences on the Convention’s practical implementation. Participants included representatives of ratifying and non-ratifying States, indigenous peoples, employers’ and workers’ organizations, UN agencies, and independent experts.

A joint initiative by the Governments of Denmark and Mexico, the International Work Group on Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA), the University of Lucerne and the ILO, the seminar provided a platform for reflection on future action for the promoting ratification and implementation of the Convention as a concrete contribution to the follow up to the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (September 2014).

A summary of discussions prepared by the co-organizers outlines key lessons learned drawn from 25 years’ experience of Convention No.169 and recommendations for action.