GENEVA (ILO news) - The ILO has received an advance copy of the ground-breaking ratification of the ILO Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169) by the Central African Republic. The country will become the first African Member State of the ILO to ratify this Convention.
Adopted in 1989 to revise the earlier Indigenous and Tribal Populations Convention, 1957 (No. 107), ILO Convention No. 169 is based on the recognition of indigenous and tribal peoples’ aspirations to exercise control over their own institutions, ways of life and economic development and to maintain and develop their identities, languages and religions, within the framework of the States in which they live.
The ratification by the Central African Republic brings the total number of ratifications of Convention No. 169 to 21. It is the culmination of a process of dialogue and capacity-building that has involved a wide range of national actors as well as the ILO, other UN agencies, NGOs, and indigenous peoples themselves.
Through the ratification of the Convention, the Central African Republic has committed itself to giving full effect to the provisions of the Convention, including the development of coordinated and systematic action to protect the rights of the indigenous peoples of the Central African Republic and to guarantee respect for their integrity. The establishment of appropriate and effective mechanisms for consultation and participation of indigenous and tribal peoples regarding matters that concern them is the cornerstone of the Convention.
The implementation of the Convention is an ongoing endeavour, requiring not only resources but also technical expertise and experience. The ILO stands ready to assist the Government of the Central African Republic to fulfil its obligations under the Convention.
The ratification coincides with the holding of the Ninth Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues held at UN headquarters in New York from 19 to 30 April.
(Photo credit: Rainforest Foundation UK)