Convention No. 107

The Indigenous and Tribal Populations Convention, 1957 (No. 107) was a first attempt to codify international obligations of States in respect indigenous and tribal populations and was the first international convention on the subject, and was adopted by the ILO at the request of the UN-System.

Convention No. 107 is a broad development instrument, covering a wide range of issues such as land; recruitment and conditions of employment; vocational training, handicrafts and rural industries; social security and health; and education and means of communication. Particularly the provisions of Convention No. 107 with regards to land, territories and resources have a wide coverage and are similar to those of Convention No. 169.

Convention No. 107 was ratified by 27 countries. However, it has an integrationist approach that reflects the development discourse of the time at which it had been adopted. During the 1970s, when the United Nations began to examine in more detail issues concerning indigenous and tribal peoples, and when indigenous peoples began to be more visible at the international level, the approach began to be questioned. A Committee of Experts convened in 1986 by the Governing Body of the ILO concluded that “the integrationist approach of the Convention was obsolete and that its application was detrimental in the modern world.” It was revised during 1988 - 1989, through the adoption of Convention No. 169. Although since the adoption of Convention No. 169, Convention No. 107 is no longer open for ratification, it is still in force for 18 countries, a number of which have significant populations of indigenous peoples, and remains a useful instrument in these cases as it covers many areas that are key for indigenous peoples.

Conventions Nos. 107 and 169: Major differences

No. 107

No. 169

Founded on the assumption that ITPs were temporary societies destined to disappear with «Modernisation».

Founded on the belief that ITPs are permanent societies

Reference to «Populations»

Reference to «Peoples»

Encouraged integration

Recognition of, and respect for, ethnic and cultural diversity