Ratification of ILO Convention 169
Chancellor Merkel congratulates ILO on occasion of its 100th anniversary (Press Release)
Following Angela Merkel's recent praise of the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) demands the federal government to finally ratify ILO Convention 169. "In her speech on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the ILO in Geneva in June, the Chancellor emphasized that economics must serve the people – not the other way around. Thus, she should be consistent with her statements and work towards a better inclusion of the indigenous communities, who are often especially vulnerable" stated Yvonne Bangert, one of the STP's experts on indigenous peoples. "Many of them are living in great poverty and suffer from intolerable working conditions. After all, they make up four to five percent of the world's population. The federal government must finally live up to its promises and ratify ILO Convention 169 – as envisaged in the coalition agreement."
To date, 23 of the ILO member states have ratified Convention 169 – mostly in Central and South America, but there are also signatories in Europe: the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Spain, and Luxembourg. ILO Convention 169 covers the most important rights of indigenous peoples, which are: the right to shape the community's future according to its own priorities (Articles 6 and 7), including the right to full participation in state decisions that could directly affect these peoples; equal rights with regard to administration and justice (Articles 8 and 9); land titles and resources (Articles 13-19); employment and culturally appropriate working conditions (Article 20).
ILO Convention 169 was adopted in 1989. Its 44 articles add up to a fundamental rights canon for the 350 to 440 million members of the world's approximately 6,000 indigenous peoples. Indigenous peoples are seen as equal to national societies. The "Koordinierungskreis ILO 169", a coalition of civil society organizations, networks, and experts, is working towards a ratification of ILO Convention 169 by Germany. The STP is part of this network.
Further information: ILO Fact Sheet (in german) and www.ilo169.de.
Header image: International Labour Organization ( ILO - OIT - BIT) Photo Collection via Flickr