ILO Convention No. 169

Seminar on Enabling rights-based development for indigenous and tribal peoples - learning from 25 year's experience of ILO Convention No. 169

Geneva 27-28 November 2014

Executive Summary

The ILO Convention No.169 on indigenous and tribal peoples adopted in 1989 is, along with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), a cornerstone of the international framework seeking to ensure that indigenous peoples enjoy their fundamental human rights, exercise control over their own development and participate in national development of the States they live in. 

Twenty-five years on, how has the Convention contributed to rights-based development approaches? This is the key question to which the Co-organizers of this seminar, the Governments of Denmark and Mexico, the International Labour Office (ILO), the International Working Group on Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) and the University of Lucerne (Switzerland), seek to answer. 

This seminar seeks to: 

  • Take stock of Convention No. 169 as an enabling tool for rights-based and self-determined development;  
  • Provide a platform for sharing lessons learned and indentify challenges and opportunities ahead in relation to the operationalisation of indigenous peoples rights as enshrined in the ILO Convention 169and the UNDRIP.
  • Develop concrete recommendations for the strengthening of the implementation of the convention in the years to come, as a concrete and timely contribution to the follow up of the outcome document of the UN High Level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly to be known as World Conference on Indigenous Peoples (New York, September 2014) and to the Post 2015 Development Agenda process. 

This seminar, with financial support from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Swiss National Science Foundation, will bring together representatives of ratifying and non-ratifying States, indigenous peoples, social partners, independent experts, researchers and other stakeholders.  

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