Decent Work for Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in the Rural Economy

Indigenous and tribal peoples are critical agents of change for achieving sustainable development and combating climate change. They continue, however, to belong to the most disadvantaged and marginalized groups living in rural areas. Their traditional livelihood strategies, which are based on a unique relationship with their lands and natural resources, are under pressure. This results in impoverishment and increasing social, economic and environmental vulnerability as well as food insecurity. At the same time, indigenous and tribal peoples face barriers in accessing decent work opportunities because of limited access to training and skills as well as persisting discrimination and exclusion. In addition, they are exposed to exploitation and rights violations in the formal and informal economy. Along with other relevant International Labour Organization (ILO) instruments, the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169) offers a framework for promoting decent work for indigenous women and men in the rural economy, including through their consultation and participation in the development and implementation of national and local development strategies and plans. Access to decent work empowers indigenous women and men to play their role as agents of change and actors for sustainable development, as well as building peaceful and resilient societies.