Indigenous and tribal peoples

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  • ©ILO
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  • ©M. Schlanbusch
  • ©ILO
  • ©IWGIA
  • ©S. Errico
  • ©R.K. Dhir
  • ©ILO
  • ©I.M. Puscas
  • ©ILO
  1. The ILO has been engaged with indigenous and tribal peoples’ issues since the 1920s. It is responsible for the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169), the only international treaty open for ratification that deals exclusively with the rights of these peoples. The ILO’s Decent Work Agenda, with gender equality and non-discrimination as a cross-cutting concern, serves as a framework for indigenous and tribal peoples’ empowerment. Access to decent work enables indigenous women and men to harness their potential as change agents in poverty reduction, sustainable development and climate change action.

Key resources

  1. Convention No. 169 TOOLBOX

    ILO resources for government officials, workers’ and employers’ organizations, indigenous and tribal peoples, judges, members of parliaments and others involved in implementing Convention No. 169 or considering its ratification.

  2. Sustainable Development Goals: Indigenous Peoples in Focus

    Reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their overall ambition of “leaving no one behind” will require specific attention to the rights, aspirations, and participation of indigenous women and men. Decent Work can enable indigenous and tribal peoples to play their part in achieving the 17 goals of the Sustainable Development Agenda by 2030.

  3. © T.Lee

    International Labour Standards regarding indigenous and tribal peoples

    ILO's Convention No.169 is based on respect for the cultures and ways of life of indigenous and tribal peoples. It aims at overcoming discriminatory practices affecting these peoples and enabling them to participate in decision-making that affects their lives.

Featured publications

  1. Implementing the ILO Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention No. 169: Towards an inclusive, sustainable and just future

    This report examines the implementation of the Convention No. 169 and the current social and economic situation of indigenous people across the world.

  2. COVID-19 and the world of work: A focus on indigenous and tribal peoples

    This brief analyses the vulnerabilities of indigenous and tribal peoples in the COVID-19 context and identifies urgent and continuing actions to ensure their access to decent work and social protection.

  3. Indigenous Peoples and Climate Change: Emerging Research on Traditional Knowledge and Livelihoods

    This publication draws on recent and emerging research conducted directly with communities across Asia and the Pacific, Africa, and the Americas.

Indigenous Peoples: Agents of Change

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