Across the world, tribal peoples’ lands are being stolen and their communities devastated. ILO Convention 169 is the only international law designed to protect tribal peoples’ rights.
Most governments refuse to ratify it.
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When tribal peoples lose their lands, their societies disintegrate and individuals often succumb to alcoholism and fatal diseases.
The only international law that can secure tribal peoples’ land rights is the International Labour Organization Convention 169. ILO 169 recognizes and protects tribal peoples’ land ownership rights, and sets a series of minimum UN standards regarding consultation and consent.
ILO 169 has been around since 1989, but only twenty-two countries have ratified it so far. At this rate, it will be another 170 years before every country has ratified the Convention. Every country that does so, strengthens its force, and gives tribal peoples a greater chance to survive and thrive.
What does ILO 169 say?
It protects tribal peoples’ right to:
- Own the land they live on and use
- Make decisions about projects that affect them
- Equality and freedom
Please write to your MP asking him/her to support ILO 169
Please take a moment to send an online message through WriteToThem.com asking your MP to support the only international law for the world’s threatened tribes, ILO 169. The UK government has not ratified it, saying that it’s not relevant because no tribal peoples live there.
But of course UK companies do business in countries with tribal peoples; and, through Britain’s overseas development budget, your taxes fund many projects that affect them. Ratifying ILO 169 would help to stop abuses against some of the world’s most vulnerable peoples.
Please urge the Bangladesh government to ratify ILO 169
Please send a letter to the Bangladeshi government, urging it to ratify ILO 169 as a matter of urgency. In 2008, Bangladesh said it would consider ratifying ILO 169, but it has still not done so.
In the meantime, the rights of the country’s Jumma tribes continue to be cast aside as they suffer displacement by settlers and violent repression by the Bangladesh military. Ratifying ILO 169 would protect the rights of the Jummas and help stop abuses against them.
ILO 169 is not just a law for tribal peoples, it is a law for everyone
ILO 169 is not just a law for tribal peoples; it is a law for everyone. It plays a key role in saving the world’s rainforests, putting control of the land back in the hands of the people who have looked after it for generations.
It is no coincidence that so much of the world’s remaining rainforests and biodiversity are on tribal peoples’ lands.
ILO 169 recognizes and protects tribal peoples’ land rights, allowing tribes to prosper, and the forests in which many live to flourish.